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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  30 Mar 2020

30 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Tectonic styles of expected earthquakes in Italy as an input for seismic hazard modeling

Silvia Pondrelli1, Francesco Visini2, Andrea Rovida3, Vera D'Amico2, Bruno Pace4, and Carlo Meletti2 Silvia Pondrelli et al.
  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Bologna, Italy
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Pisa, Italy
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Milano, Italy
  • 4Dipartimento di Scienze Psicologiche, della Salute e del Territorio (DiSPUTer), UniversitàG. d’Annunzio Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy

Abstract. Tectonic styles and distributions of nodal planes are an essential input for probabilistic seismic hazard assessment. As a part of a recent elaboration of a new seismic hazard model for Italy, we adopted a cascade criteria approach to parametrize the tectonic style of expected earthquake ruptures and their uncertainty in an area-based seismicity model.

Using available or recomputed seismic moment tensors for relevant seismic events (Mw starting from 4.5), first arrival focal mechanisms for less recent earthquakes, and also geological data on past activated faults, we collected a database for the last ~ 100 yrs gathering a thousand of data all over the Italian peninsula and regions around it. The adopted procedure consists, in each seismic zone, of separating the available seismic moment tensors in the three main tectonic styles, making summation within each group, identifying possible nodal plane(s) taking into account the different percentages of tectonic styles and including, where necessary, total or partial random source contributions. Referring to the used area source model, for several seismic zones we obtained robust results, e.g. along the southern Apennines we expect future earthquakes to be mostly extensional, although in the outer part of the chain strike-slip events are possible. In the Northern part of the Apennines we also expect different tectonic styles for different hypocentral depths. In zones characterized by a low seismic moment release, the possible tectonic style of future earthquakes is less clear and it has been represented using different combination (total or partial) of random sources.

Silvia Pondrelli et al.

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Silvia Pondrelli et al.

Silvia Pondrelli et al.


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Latest update: 30 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We used 100 yrs of seismicity in Italy to draw the hypothetical tectonic style of future earthquakes, with the purpose to use this information in the new seismic hazard model. To squeeze all possible information out from the available data, we created a chain of criteria to be applied in the input and output selection processes. The result is a list of cases shading from very clear ones, e.g. extensional tectonics in Central Appennines, to completely random tectonics for future seismic events.
We used 100 yrs of seismicity in Italy to draw the hypothetical tectonic style of future...