Coastal Uplift and Mortality of Intertidal Organisms Caused by the September 1985 Mexico Earthquakes

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Science  05 Sep 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4768, pp. 1071-1073
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4768.1071


Coastal uplift associated with the great Mexican earthquake of 19 September 1985 and its principal aftershock produced widespread mortality of intertidal organisms along the coast of the states of Michoacán and Guerrero, Mexico. Measurements of the vertical extent of mortality at ten sites provided estimates of the magnitude of the vertical component of deformation along the coast. Within the affected area, uplift ranged from about 12 centimeters to about 1 meter, and no subsidence was observed. The observations are consistent with models of the tectonic deformation that results from buried slip on a shallow-dipping underthrust fault.