Fault2SHA Eastern Betics Shear Zone Lab

A 500 km long complex fault-system in a convergent plate margin (SE Spain)

The Eastern Betics is one of the most seismically active areas of the western Mediterranean. One of its major fault systems (the Eastern Betics Shear Zone, EBSZ) extends along near 500 km, including onshore and offshore areas. After the III Fault2SHA meeting in 2017 (Barcelonnette, France), a group of scientists working in the area decided to set up a collaborative network to share and discuss raw data, interpretations and ways to introduce geological data into SHA. We are still working on it!

Core members: María Ortuño, Julián García-Mayordomo, José Antonio Álvarez-Gómez, Juan Miguel Insua-Arévalo y Héctor Perea.

Members: Octavi Gómez, Raimon Pallàs, Yolanda de Pro Díaz, Cesar Ranero, Iván Martín Rojas, Eulalia Masana, Álvaro González, Giorgi Khazaradze, Laura Gómez de la Peña, Jorge Gaspar, Eulalia Gràcia Mont, Raquel Martín, Josechu Martínez Díaz, Jorge Alonso Henar, Paula Herrero Barbero, José M. Azañón, Alejandra Staller, Emilio Rodríguez-Escudero, Carolina Canora, Lucía Lozano, Marisol Monterrubio, Otilio Rojas, Josep de la Puente, Mar Tápia, Marc Ollé, Júlia Molins, Jose Luis Sánchez-Roldán y Pouye Yadzi.

Key Questions

  • What controls the connection (interaction) among the different faults and fault-sections in the EBSZ system?
  • Which faults/sections are currently the most hazardous?
  • How the geological and geodetical input data should be organized and delivered for seismic hazard calculations?

Specific Aims 

  • Improving the paleoseismological knowledge of the EBSZ faults by either gathering new data or improving the existing ones.
  • Estimating slip rate variability in space and time from both paleoseismological and geodetic studies of complete fault-transects and improved dating methods (calcretes, racemization).
  • Incorporating offshore and onshore fault data. 
  • Revealing the deep geometry and behaviour of the main faults of the system using geophysical, geodetic and modelling techniques.
  • Improving kinematic fault constraints by using structural analysis and modelling (numerical and analogue).
  • Proposing practical approaches for the improvement of fault-hazard consideration in probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) and for the application of seismorresistant provisions.
  • Linking onshore seismic hazard analysis with offshore tsunami hazard analysis.
  • Improving of data systematization in active fault databases, application to QAFI.

Some Recent Publications

  • Slip Rate variation during the last ~210 ka on a slow fault in a transpressive regime: The Carrascoy Fault (Eastern Betic Shear Zone, SE Spain)Martín-Banda, R., Insua-Arévalo, J.M. and García-Mayordomo, J. Frontiers in Earth Science, 716. 2021.
  • Physics-based earthquake simulations in slow-moving faults: a case study from the Eastern Betic Shear Zone (SE Iberian Peninsula).Herrero-Barbero, P., Álvarez-Gómez, J.A., Williams, C., Villamor, P., Insua-Arévalo, J.M., Alonso-Henar, J., Martı́nez-Dı́az, J.J. Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth,126(5), e2020JB021133.2021
  • Relocation of seismicity in the Guadalentín Tectonic Valley, Eastern Betics Shear Zone (SE Iberia). Sánchez-Roldán,  J.L., Martínez-Díaz, J.J., Cantavella, J.V., Álvarez-Gómez, J.A., Morales, J. Seismological Research Letters, 92(5), 3046-3064, 2021
  • Fault system-based probabilistic seismic hazard assessment of a moderate seismicity region: the Eastern Betics Shear Zone (SE Spain). Gómez-Novell, O., García-Mayordomo, J., Ortuño, M., Masana,E., Chartier, T. (2020). Frontiers in Earth Science doi: 10.3389/feart.2020.579398
  • Modelling earthquake rupture rates in fault systems for seismic hazard assessment: the Eastern Betics Shear Zone. Gómez-Novell, O., Chartier, T., García-Mayordomo, J., Ortuño, M., Masana, E., Insua-Arévalo, J.M., Scotti, O. (2020). Engineering Geology, 105452. doi: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2019.105452.
  • Neogene basin inversion and recent slip rate distribution of the northern termination of the Alhama de Murcia Fault (Eastern Betic Shear Zone, SE Spain).Herrero‐Barbero, P., Álvarez‐Gómez, J. A., Martínez‐Díaz, J. J., & Klimowitz, J. (2020).  Tectonics, 39(7), e2019TC005750.
  • Geological evidences of surface rupture related to a seventeenth century destructive earthquake in Betic Cordillera (SE Spain): constraining the seismic hazard of the Alhama de Murcia fault. Martínez-Díaz, J.J., Alonso-Henar, J., Insua-Arévalo, J.M., Canora, C., García-Mayordomo, J., Rodríguez-Escudero, E., Álvarez-Gómez, J.A., Ferrater, M., Ortuño, M. and Masana, E. Journal of Iberian Geology, 45(1):73-86, 2019, doi: 10.1007/s41513-018-0082-2 
  • Active fault databases: building a bridge between earthquake geologists and seismic hazard practitioners, the case of the QAFI v.3 database García-Mayordomo J., Martín-Banda R., Insua-Arévalo J.M., Álvarez-Gómez, J.A., Martínez-Díaz, J.J. and Cabral, J.Natural Hazards and Earth Science Systems, 17: 1447-1459, 2017, doi: 10.5194/nhess-17-1447-2017. 
  • New insights on the seismogenic potential of the Eastern Betic Shear Zone (SE Iberia): Quaternary activity and paleoseismicity of the SW segment of the Carrascoy Fault Zone. R. Martín-Banda, J. García-Mayordomo, J.M. Insua-Arévalo, Á.E. Salazar, E. Rodríguez-Escudero, J.A. Álvarez-Gómez, A. Medialdea and M.J. Herrero. Tectonics, 35: 55-75, 2016, doi:10.1002/2015TC003997. 
  • Paleoseismological evidence of Holocene activity of the Los Tollos Fault (Murcia, SE Spain): A lately formed Quaternary tectonic feature of the Eastern Betic Shear Zone. Insua-Arévalo, J.M., García-Mayordomo, J., Salazar, A.E., Rodríguez-Escudero, E., Martín-Banda, R., Álvarez-Gómez, J.A., Canora, C., Martínez-Díaz, J.J. (2015)  Journal of Iberian Geology, 41(3): 333-350, 2015. doi: 10.5209/rev_JIGE.2015.v41.n3.49948

Doctoral Thesis

  • Morphotectonic and kinematic analysis of relay zones in active strike-slip fault and applications to seismic hazard and risk, de Pro Díaz, Y. (ongoing) Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • 3D relocation of seismicity in the Eastern Betics Shear Zone, Sánchez-Roldán, J.L. (ongoing), Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • Integration of paleoseismic data into seismic hazard assessments at the Eastern Betics Shear Zone (SE Spain), Gómez-Novell, O., 2021, Universitat de Barcelona.
  • 3D modeling of the structure, kinematics and seismogenic behavior of the Eastern Betic Fault System. Application to seismic hazard, Herrero-Barbero, P., 2022, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • Segmentation and Recent Evolution of the Sierra de Carrascoy Fault System: implications for its seismogenic potential, Raquel Martín Banda, 2020, Universidad Complutense de Madrid 


Álvarez-Gómez, J. A. (2019). FMC—Earthquake focal mechanisms data management, cluster and classification. SoftwareX, 9, 299-307.

  • AC-DCFS – Automatic computation of Coulomb Failure Stress changes after relevant earthquakes

Alvarez-Gómez, J. A., & García-Mayordomo, J. (2017). AC-DCFS: a toolchain implementation to Automatically Compute Coulomb Failure Stress changes after relevant earthquakes. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 19, 16000.

Current Projects

  • NSOURCES: New approaches to earthquake source characterization and their effective integration into fault-based seismic hazard models. Case studies in areas of low-to-intermediate activity of eastern Iberia (PID2020-119772RB-I00). Principal Researchers:  Raimon Pallàs and Eulàlia Masana. Univ. of Barcelona
  • UNrIDDLE: Unveiling the deep structure and recent deformation history on long strike-slip faults: From geological data to seismic hazard (Project 2018-T1/AMB-11039).“Atracción de Talento – Modalidad 1”. Funding agency: Comunidad de Madrid. Principal Researcher: Dr. Hector Perea. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
  • STRENGTH: Structure, seismicity and growth of active faults in the Alboran Sea through very-high resolution technologies and related hazard (PID2019-104668RB-I00).“Proyectos de I+D+i – RTI Tipo B”. Funding agency: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Principal Researchers: Dr. Eulàlia Gràcia (Instituto de Ciencias del Mar-CSIC) and Dr. Hector Perea (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Past Projects

  • QUAKE STEP: Monitoring, kinematic analysis and seismogenic characterization in relay zones of transcurrent fault systems (CGL2017-83931-C3-1-P). Funding agency: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Principal Researchers: Drs. José A. Álvarez Gómez y José J. Martínez Díaz. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.