A multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of the mechanism that triggered the Cerda landslide (Sicily, Italy).

Valerio Agnesi, Christian Conoscenti, Edoardo Rotigliano, Cipriano Di Maggio, Paolo Madonia, Iole Serena Diliberto, Marco Camarda, Pietro Madonia

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34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present paper describes a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of a seismically triggered landslide that occurredin the Cerda area (Italy) on September 6, 2002, about 1 h after an earthquake took place in the south Tyrrhenian Sea. The studywas focused on an analysis of the role of the seismic input in triggering the landslide, in view of the evidence that no other massmovement was recorded in the adjacent areas despite geological and geomorphological spatial homogeneity. The studied area islocated on a slope of the western flank of the Fiume Imera Settentrionale (Northern Sicily), which is made up of clayey–areniticrocks. The slope inclines gently but is not uniform due to fluvial, gravitative, and rainwash processes. Field data dealing withglobal positioning system (GPS), geology, geomorphology, geophysics (vertical electrical sounding, or VES), and geochemistry(soil gas fluxes and composition) were acquired and analysed in order to investigate the cause–effect relationships between theearthquake and the mass movement. The GPS survey allowed us to map the ground failures that have also been classified on thebasis of their kinematical meaning (i.e., compressive, distensive, or transcurrent structures). The geological analysis revealedoutcropping rocks and tectonic structures. The geomorphologic survey highlighted the presence of preexisting landslide bodies.The geophysical survey detected a buried surface located at a depth of about 100 m . Finally, the geochemical survey showedthat the gas released from the displaced mass came from a shallow depth and was not related to any active fault system. Theabovementioned information allowed us to interpret the landslide event as a partial reactivation of a preexisting landslide bodythat was triggered by the earthquake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalGeomorphology
Volume65
Publication statusPublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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