Quaternary faults in the Albuquerque area--An update
— Stephen F. Personius, Michael N. Machette, and Keith I. Kelson


More than two dozen faults and fault zones offset Quaternary deposits in the northern Albuquerque basin of the Rio Grande rift near Albuquerque, New Mexico. At least five faults near Albuquerque (County Dump, East Paradise, Hubbell Spring, Rincon, and Tijeras-Cañoncito) have demonstrated movements in the late Quaternary, but little is known about the paleoearthquake history of most faults in the basin, so other young faults will undoubtedly be identified in future investigations. Most Quaternary faults in the northern Albuquerque basin have low rates of slip (<0.2 mm/yr) and long recurrence intervals (tens of thousands of years or longer) between surface-faulting earthquakes. However, limited paleoseismic data indicate typical individual coseismic displacements of 1-2 m and fault rupture lengths of 20-30 km; such data indicate maximum paleoearthquake moment magnitudes (M) of 7 or greater. Earthquakes of this size on any nearby faults would cause extensive damage to the rapidly growing Albuquerque-Rio Rancho metropolitan area.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Personius, Stephen F.; Machette, Michael N.; Kelson, Keith I., 1999, Quaternary faults in the Albuquerque area--An update, in: Albuquerque Country, Pazzaglia, Frank J.; Lucas, S. G.; Austin, G. S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 50th Field Conference, pp. 189-200.

[see guidebook]