GNSS Constraints to Active Tectonic Deformations of the South American Continental Margin in Ecuador
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GPS networksActive tectonicsTransfer faultsEcuadorian AndesFore-arc basin
Tamay, J.; Galindo-Zaldivar, J.; Soto, J.; Gil, A.J. GNSS Constraints to Active Tectonic Deformations of the South American Continental Margin in Ecuador. Sensors 2021, 21, 4003. [https://doi.org/10.3390/s21124003]
SponsorshipUniversidad Técnica Particular de Loja; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad DAMAGE CGL2016-80867-R AEI/FERDER MINECO; Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación SENESCYT; Universidad de Jaén UJA; European Regional Development Fund 1263446,POAIUJA 2021-2022 ERDF; Junta de Andalucía AGORA P18-RT-3275,PAPEL B-RNM-301-UGR18,RNM148,RNM282
GNSS observations constitute the main tool to reveal Earth’s crustal deformations in order to improve the identification of geological hazards. The Ecuadorian Andes were formed by Nazca Plate subduction below the Pacific margin of the South American Plate. Active tectonic-related deformation continues to present, and it is constrained by 135 GPS stations of the RENAGE and REGME deployed by the IGM in Ecuador (1995.4–2011.0). They show a regional ENE displacement, increasing towards the N, of the deformed North Andean Sliver in respect to the South American Plate and Inca Sliver relatively stable areas. The heterogeneous displacements towards the NNE of the North Andean Sliver are interpreted as consequences of the coupling of the Carnegie Ridge in the subduction zone. The Dolores–Guayaquil megashear constitutes its southeastern boundary and includes the dextral to normal transfer Pallatanga fault, that develops the Guayaquil Gulf. This fault extends northeastward along the central part of the Cordillera Real, in relay with the reverse dextral Cosanga–Chingual fault and finally followed by the reverse dextral Sub-Andean fault zone. While the Ecuadorian margin and Andes is affected by ENE–WSW shortening, the easternmost Manabí Basin located in between the Cordillera Costanera and the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes, underwent moderate ENE–WSW extension and constitutes an active fore-arc basin of the Nazca plate subduction. The integration of the GPS and seismic data evidences that highest rates of deformation and the highest tectonic hazards in Ecuador are linked: to the subduction zone located in the coastal area; to the Pallatanga transfer fault; and to the Eastern Andes Sub-Andean faults.