Comment on: “Interseismic Strain Accumulation near Lisbon (Portugal) from Space Geodesy” by Fonseca et al. (2021)

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Luis Manuel Matias 


The paper by Fonseca et al. (2021), hereafter referred as FON21, published in Geophysical Research Letters2 make several conclusions that are not convincingly supported by the evidence of the data that is made available. In this comment we will address the following statements: 1) FON21 “provides new evidence of sinistral simple shear driven by a NNE-SSW first-order tectonic lineament; 2) “PSInSAR vertical velocities corroborate qualitatively the GNSS strain-rate field, showing uplift/subsidence where the GNSS data indicate contraction/extension”; 3) FON21 proposes “the presence of a small block to the W of Lisbon moving independently toward the SW with a relative velocity of 0.96 ± 0.20 mm/yr”; 4) FON21 shows “that the contribution of intraplate faults to the seismic hazard in the LMA is more important than currently assumed”. We conclude that more evidence needs to be collected to confirm or infirm FON21 statements and conclusions. For the moment the proposal of an autonomous crustal block moving with significant velocity in relation to the neighboring domain should be considered speculative and unproved.



Earth Sciences


seismic hazard, Lower Tagus Valley


Published: 2021-12-31 18:05


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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