Utrecht University researchers have gained a remarkable new understanding of what causes earthquakes in the area around the Strait of Gibraltar. What they have discovered can be applied to many other areas of the world where tectonic plates are disappearing into the earth's mantle. The results of the research are published in Nature Geoscience on 19 February.
The scientists from Utrecht have been conducting geophysical and geological research in the Gibraltar region for several years. They are delighted that they have now finally gained a better understanding of this complex tectonic system. “The geological history of this area is quite enigmatic and has been the subject of intense scientific debate for decades”, says Wim Spakman, Professor of Geophysics at Utrecht University and lead author of the publication. “Thanks to what we have discovered, the pieces of the tectonic jigsaw puzzle are finally falling into place.”