Paleoearthquakes Determination of Magnitude~6.5 on the North Tehran Fault, Iran

Document Type : Seismology and Engineering Seismology


1 Université Montpellier

2 Geological Survey of Iran


The North Tehran Fault is located at the southernmost piedmont of Central Alborz, north of Iran. It stands out as a major active fault menacing directly the city of Tehran, a 12 million people metropolis, and would have been the source of several major historical earthquakes in the past. The fault zone extends up to 110km and corresponds mainly to a reverse fault mostly crossing the northern suburbs of the Tehran metropolis, although NTF in its eastern part is characterized more as a left lateral strike slip active fault. We carried out a paleoseismological study of the fault zone in order to determine whether the fault was activated during the Holocene, and to define the characteristics of its activity in terms of kinematics and magnitude. Here in this paper we present only a part of our paleoseismological investigations trench TE2. Observations fromtwo trenches dug across the North Tehran fault scarp reveal evidence for a maximum of six surface-rupturing events within the late quaternary. According to the empirical relationships among average displacement per event and Moment magnitude [25], we can estimate six events Mw~ 6.5 associated with these ruptures in TE2 trench.