Modeling ground deformation associated with the destructive earthquakes occurring on Mt. Etna's southeastern flank in 1984
- 1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, Piazza Roma 2, Catania, Italy
- 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, Via Monti Rossi, 95123 Nicolosi (CT), Italy
Abstract. The Timpe Fault System is the source of very shallow but destructive earthquakes that affect several towns and villages on the eastern flank of Mt. Etna (Italy). In 1984, several seismic events, and specifically on 19 and 25 October, caused one fatality, 12 injuries and produced serious damage in the Zafferana and Acireale territories. This seismicity was mainly related to the activity of the Fiandaca Fault, one of the structures belonging to the Timpe Fault System.
We inverted ground deformation data collected by a geodimeter trilateration network set up in 1977 at a low altitude along the eastern side of the volcano in order to define the Timpe Fault System faulting mechanisms linked to the seismicity in 1984.
We have found that in the period May 1980–October 1984, the Fiandaca Fault was affected by a strike-slip and normal dip-slip of about 20.4 and 12.7 cm respectively. This result is kinematically consistent with field observations of the coseismic ground ruptures along the fault but it is notably large compared to displacements estimated by seismicity, then suggesting that most of the slip over the fault plane was aseismic.
The results once again confirm how seismicity and its relation with ground ruptures and creep displacement represent a very high hazard to the several towns and villages situated along the Timpe Fault System.