The Carboneras Fault Zone (CFZ) represents an active set of sinistral strike-slip faults in the Betic Cordilleras of southeastern Spain. It constitutes a major segment of the ‘Trans-Alboran shear zone’ during the Cenozoic, striking NE-SW. The CFZ separates the Cabo de Gata Block (Neogene volcanics) against Neogene basinal sediments and the metamorphic basement of the Alpujarride Complex.
Three sites along the CFZ were examined with Ground Penetrating Radar techniques. Radar surveying was complemented by structural studies. Shallow-depth high-resolution imaging of Tyrrhenian beach terraces exhibited both vertical and minor horizontal offsets in the Rambla Morales site in the south. A sinistral strike-slip fault associated with minor thrust faults in a positive flower structure was detected in the middle segment along the La Serrata ridge, sealed by a caliche of late Pleistocene age (> 10 ka). The Playa de Bolmayor section yielded sub-surface evidence for several faults probably related to recent activity of individual fault strands. Our results suggest a distributed tectonic activity of the CFZ during the Late Quaternary.