Shallow and deep deformation in northern Apennines region using seismological data

Salimbeni, Simone (2008) Shallow and deep deformation in northern Apennines region using seismological data, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Geofisica, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/866.
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For its particular position and the complex geological history, the Northern Apennines has been considered as a natural laboratory to apply several kinds of investigations. By the way, it is complicated to joint all the knowledge about the Northern Apennines in a unique picture that explains the structural and geological emplacement that produced it. The main goal of this thesis is to put together all information on the deformation - in the crust and at depth - of this region and to describe a geodynamical model that takes account of it. To do so, we have analyzed the pattern of deformation in the crust and in the mantle. In both cases the deformation has been studied using always information recovered from earthquakes, although using different techniques. In particular the shallower deformation has been studied using seismic moment tensors information. For our purpose we used the methods described in Arvidsson and Ekstrom (1998) that allowing the use in the inversion of surface waves [and not only of the body waves as the Centroid Moment Tensor (Dziewonski et al., 1981) one] allow to determine seismic source parameters for earthquakes with magnitude as small as 4.0. We applied this tool in the Northern Apennines and through this activity we have built up the Italian CMT dataset (Pondrelli et al., 2006) and the pattern of seismic deformation using the Kostrov (1974) method on a regular grid of 0.25 degree cells. We obtained a map of lateral variations of the pattern of seismic deformation on different layers of depth, taking into account the fact that shallow earthquakes (within 15 km of depth) in the region occur everywhere while most of events with a deeper hypocenter (15-40 km) occur only in the outer part of the belt, on the Adriatic side. For the analysis of the deep deformation, i.e. that occurred in the mantle, we used the anisotropy information characterizing the structure below the Northern Apennines. The anisotropy is an earth properties that in the crust is due to the presence of aligned fluid filled cracks or alternating isotropic layers with different elastic properties while in the mantle the most important cause of seismic anisotropy is the lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of the mantle minerals as the olivine. This last is a highly anisotropic mineral and tends to align its fast crystallographic axes (a-axis) parallel to the astenospheric flow as a response to finite strain induced by geodynamic processes. The seismic anisotropy pattern of a region is measured utilizing the shear wave splitting phenomenon (that is the seismological analogue to optical birefringence). Here, to do so, we apply on teleseismic earthquakes recorded on stations located in the study region, the Sileny and Plomerova (1996) approach. The results are analyzed on the basis of their lateral and vertical variations to better define the earth structure beneath Northern Apennines. We find different anisotropic domains, a Tuscany and an Adria one, with a pattern of seismic anisotropy which laterally varies in a similar way respect to the seismic deformation. Moreover, beneath the Adriatic region the distribution of the splitting parameters is so complex to request an appropriate analysis. Therefore we applied on our data the code of Menke and Levin (2003) which allows to look for different models of structures with multilayer anisotropy. We obtained that the structure beneath the Po Plain is probably even more complicated than expected. On the basis of the results obtained for this thesis, added with those from previous works, we suggest that slab roll-back, which created the Apennines and opened the Tyrrhenian Sea, evolved in the north boundary of Northern Apennines in a different way from its southern part. In particular, the trench retreat developed primarily south of our study region, with an eastward roll-back. In the northern portion of the orogen, after a first stage during which the retreat was perpendicular to the trench, it became oblique with respect to the structure.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Salimbeni, Simone
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
northern apennines seismic anisotropy deformation
Data di discussione
9 Giugno 2008

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