Plate tectonic framework for the October 9, 1996, Cyprus earthquake

Ronald Arvidsson, Zvi Ben-Avraham, Göran Ekström, Shimon Wdowinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We determine the centroid depths for the Mw = 6.8, October 9, 1996, Cyprus earthquake and its largest aftershock to 32 and 27 km, respectively, by modeling P and SH waveforms. These depths are consistent with shallow subduction as the African plate, west of Cyprus, penetrates beneath the Anatolian plate. We calculate the pole of rotation between Anatolia and Africa and determine their relative motion. The result indicates that, along the Cyprean Arc, convergence between the African and Anatolian plate, in agreement with the observed seismicity, decreases from west to east. The northeasterly striking nodal plane is suggested as the plane on which the Cyprus earthquake ruptured since its strike agrees well with the derived plate motion vector. The faulting geometry suggests the emergence of a strike-slip tear fault within the African plate separating the continental Eratosthenes seamount south of Cyprus from the oceanic African lithosphere that subducts west of Cyprus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2244
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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