Articles | Volume 14, issue 5
Research article
23 May 2023
Research article |  | 23 May 2023

Probing environmental and tectonic changes underneath Mexico City with the urban seismic field

Laura A. Ermert, Enrique Cabral-Cano, Estelle Chaussard, Darío Solano-Rojas, Luis Quintanar, Diana Morales Padilla, Enrique A. Fernández-Torres, and Marine A. Denolle

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Subject area: Crustal structure and composition | Editorial team: Seismics, seismology, paleoseismology, geoelectrics, and electromagnetics | Discipline: Seismology
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Cited articles

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Arce, J. L., Layer, P. W., Macías, J. L., Morales-Casique, E., García-Palomo, A., Jiménez-Domínguez, F. J., Benowitz, J., and Vásquez-Serrano, A.: Geology and stratigraphy of the Mexico Basin (Mexico City), central Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, J. Maps, 15, 320–332,, 2019. a
Short summary
Mexico City is built on a unique ground containing the clay-rich sediments of the ancient lake Texcoco. Continuous imperceptible shaking of these deposits by city traffic and other sources allows us to monitor changes in the subsurface seismic wave speed. Wave speed varies seasonally, likely due to temperature and rain effects; it temporarily drops after large earthquakes then starts to recover. Throughout the studied period, it increased on average, which may be related to soil compaction.