Broadband Seismic Study of the Dominican Republic

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jay Pulliam1, Eugenio Polanco Rivera2, Rafael Pujols Guridy2, Victor A Huerfano Moreno3 and Alberto M Lopez3, (1)Baylor University, Waco, TX, United States, (2)Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, Instituto Sismológico Universitario, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, (3)University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, Mayaguez, PR, United States
The Northeast Caribbean Plate Boundary Zone (NCPBZ) is characterized by oblique subduction of oceanic crust belonging to the North American Plate, a broad zone of deformation to accommodate strain, and the development of transform and normal faults on and around the island of Hispaniola. Other features may include the formation of a new microplates, rearrangement and aggregation of crustal fragments into new islands, and rotations of the microplates. Numerous issues regarding the nature and timing of formation of the features described above, their roles in regional tectonics and even whether they exist at all, remain unresolved. Our short-term goal is to better constraint lithospheric structure and identify active earthquake faults with a temporary broadband seismic network in the Dominican Republic. The oblique-subduction-to-strike-slip transition found in the NCPBZ is representative of numerous locales around the world, so lessons learned here may inform our understanding of plate tectonics broadly.

In 2013-2014 we installed sixteen broadband seismic stations in the Dominican Republic. The temporary network will remain in place for two years. Data acquired by the temporary network will be integrated with data recorded by existing seismic facilities in the region and the combined dataset will be used for a series of analyses that will, collectively, allow us to image lithospheric structure and aid seismic hazard assessment for the island of Hispaniola. Preliminary results will be presented from the deployment, including regional earthquake locations and improved 1D Earth structure as well as plans for collaborations between regional seismic networks and local capacity-building.