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Jan 7, 2020

Magnitude of Great Lisbon Earthquake may have been lower than previous estimates

Posted by in category: futurism

The magnitude of the Great Lisbon Earthquake event, a historic and devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Portugal on All Saints’ Day in 1755, may not be as high as previously estimated.

In his study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Joao F. B. D. Fonseca at the Universidade de Lisboa used macroseismic data—contemporaneous reports of shaking and damage—from Portugal, Spain and Morocco to calculate the ’s magnitude at 7.7. Previous estimates placed the earthquake at magnitude 8.5 to 9.0.

Fonseca’s analysis also locates the epicenter of the 1755 earthquake offshore of the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, and suggests the rupture was a complicated one that may have involved faulting onshore as well. This re-evaluation could have implications for the seismic hazard map of the region, he said.

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