Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 67, núm. 1, 2015, p. 87-102

Estimación del peligro sísmico en el centro de Baja California: Un modelo consistente entre las regiones del Golfo de California y la Peninsular

Roberto Ortega1,*, Dana Carciumaru2, Luis Quintanar3, Reynaldo Rubio4,5

1 CISESE, Miraflores 334, Col. Bellavista, La Paz, BCS, 23500.
2 Orbis Consultores en Geología y Geofísica, Retorno Calafia 120, Col. Calafia, La Paz, BCS, 23054
3 Instituto de Geofísica UNAM, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán 04510, México D.F.
4 Geobaja Ingeniería. Márquez de León 343, Centro, La Paz, BCS 23000.
5 Instituto Tecnológico de La Paz. Boulevard Forjadores 4720, 8 de Octubre, La Paz, 23080.

* This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We present results of a probability seismic hazard analysis in the central part of the Baja California Peninsula, which comprises mainly the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve. This part of the peninsula has been poorly studied because it has the lowest population density of the region. However, the highest acceleration values in Baja California Sur, Mexico, during the last 15 years have been recorded in this area. It is observed that transform faults control the seismic hazard for short recurrence periods (< 1000 years), whereas the peninsular faults are of major importance for long recurrence periods (> 1000 years). Moreover, it is necessary to have a detailed map of the seismic sources, especially those from the Vizcaino valley, where sedimentary fill covers the geological structures. We propose choosing return periods that are consistent with the observed geological fault. In addition, we discuss the difficulty to conciliate the Gutenberg-Richter and Characteristic models. The Poisson distribution is not adequate for the Characteristic model in a Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map (PSHM) because they span different time lapses; while the PSHM model is commonly used for intervals of a few hundred years, the Characteristic model for Quaternary faults is for several tens of thousands years. A simple solution for hazard maps, especially for essential facilities, is to choose a return period that corresponds to the characteristic fault that is nearest to the site. Otherwise the map will underestimate the seismic hazard even though design correction factors are applied.

Keywords: seismic hazard, Baja California Sur, Characteristic Earthquake, Poisson distribution.