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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9101028

Did Anthropogenic Activities Trigger the 3 April 2017 Mw 6.5 Botswana Earthquake?

1
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143 Roma, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Meccanica (DICeM), Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale, Via G. di Biasio 43, 03043 Cassino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 October 2017 / Published: 7 October 2017
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Abstract

On 3 April 2017, a Mw 6.5 earthquake occurred in Botswana, representing the second-strongest earthquake registered since 1949. Such an intraplate event occurred in a low seismic hazard area and was suspected to be an artificial earthquake induced by nearby anthropogenic activities (gas extraction). The possible relation between anthropogenic activities and the earthquake occurrence has been qualitatively investigated. We estimated the geometric and kinematic characteristics of the causative fault from the modeling of Sentinel-1 InSAR interferograms. Our best-fit solution for the main shock is represented by a normal fault located at a depth greater than 20 km, dipping 65° northeast, with a right-lateral component, and a mean slip of 2.7 m. The retrieved fault geometry and mechanism are incompatible with the hypothetical stress perturbation caused by the anthropogenic activities performed in the area. Therefore, the 3 April 2017 Botswana earthquake can be classified as a natural intraplate earthquake. View Full-Text
Keywords: Botswana earthquake; InSAR; inversion; anthropogenic activities; coal-bed methane Botswana earthquake; InSAR; inversion; anthropogenic activities; coal-bed methane
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Albano, M.; Polcari, M.; Bignami, C.; Moro, M.; Saroli, M.; Stramondo, S. Did Anthropogenic Activities Trigger the 3 April 2017 Mw 6.5 Botswana Earthquake? Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1028.

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