Fault delineation and stress orientations from the analysis of background, low magnitude seismicity in Southern Apennines (Italy)

Matrullo, Emanuela (2012) Fault delineation and stress orientations from the analysis of background, low magnitude seismicity in Southern Apennines (Italy), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Geofisica, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4291.
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The aim of this work was to show that refined analyses of background, low magnitude seismicity allow to delineate the main active faults and to accurately estimate the directions of the regional tectonic stress that characterize the Southern Apennines (Italy), a structurally complex area with high seismic potential. Thanks the presence in the area of an integrated dense and wide dynamic network, was possible to analyzed an high quality microearthquake data-set consisting of 1312 events that occurred from August 2005 to April 2011 by integrating the data recorded at 42 seismic stations of various networks. The refined seismicity location and focal mechanisms well delineate a system of NW-SE striking normal faults along the Apenninic chain and an approximately E-W oriented, strike-slip fault, transversely cutting the belt. The seismicity along the chain does not occur on a single fault but in a volume, delimited by the faults activated during the 1980 Irpinia M 6.9 earthquake, on sub-parallel predominant normal faults. Results show that the recent low magnitude earthquakes belongs to the background seismicity and they are likely generated along the major fault segments activated during the most recent earthquakes, suggesting that they are still active today thirty years after the mainshock occurrences. In this sense, this study gives a new perspective to the application of the high quality records of low magnitude background seismicity for the identification and characterization of active fault systems. The analysis of the stress tensor inversion provides two equivalent models to explain the microearthquake generation along both the NW-SE striking normal faults and the E- W oriented fault with a dominant dextral strike-slip motion, but having different geological interpretations. We suggest that the NW-SE-striking Africa-Eurasia convergence acts in the background of all these structures, playing a primary and unifying role in the seismotectonics of the whole region.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Matrullo, Emanuela
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
16 Marzo 2012

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