Exploring Active Tectonics in the Dominican Republic



The devastating 12 January 2010 Haiti earthquake (M = 7.0), which killed an estimated 230,000 people and caused extensive damage to homes and buildings, drew attention to the crucial need for improved knowledge of the active tectonics of the Caribbean region. But even before this disastrous event, interest in understanding the active and complex northeastern Caribbean plate boundary had been increasing, because this region has experienced significant seismic activity during the past century and has an extensively documented record of historical seismicity and tsunamis. Moreover, this is an easily accessible region in which to study the continuity of seismic faults offshore and to try to understand the transitions between strike-slip and convergent tectonic regimes. Interest in the region has led to several studies that have improved scientists' knowledge of subduction zone tectonics and earthquake and tsunami hazard assessments [Mann et al., 2002; ten Brink et al., 2006, 2009; Grindlay et al., 2005; Manaker et al., 2008; Granja Bruña et al., 2009; Mondziel et al., 2010].