Klaus Reicherter

Ruptured pebbles – ever found one?

Ruptured pebbles are frequently found near and along active faults. At RWTH Aachen University Christopher Weismüller has just finished his MSc thesis on ruptured pebbles in southern Spain. There, the NE-SW trending Carboneras Fault System meets the N-S trending Palomares Fault and ends.


Both are major active fault zones in southern Spain in the Province of Almeria, and have experienced strong earthquakes approx. 500 years ago. The Carboneras Fault Zone stretches far into the Mediterranean Sea, reaches min. 150 km length, and ruptured the last time in 1522. A devastating earthquake and tsunami followed (Reicherter and Hübscher, 2006; Reicherter and Becker-Heidmann, 2009). The Palomares Fault, the southern prolongation of the well-known Alhama de Murcia Fault, ruptured the last time in 1518 destroying the city of Vera. Both earthquake reaches magnitudes between 6.2-6.8, sufficient to create surface ruptures and secondary effects affecting young Quaternary deposits.


As we have found ruptured pebbles in many trenches all over the world in coarse-grained and unconsolidated deposits, we would like to know if you – the paleoseismic community – has also noticed those ruptured pebbles? If so, please send a photo and location to me (k.reicherter@nug.rwth-aachen.de). Thank you.

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Klaus Reicherter

Klaus Reicherter

is professor of Neotectonics and Natural Hazards at RWTH Aachen University

See all posts Klaus Reicherter

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