A multidisciplinary work integrating structural, geodetic and seismological data was performed in the Catanzaro Trough (central Calabria, Italy) to define the seismotectonic setting of this area. The Catanzaro Trough is a structural depression transversal to the Calabrian Arc, lying in-between two longitudinal grabens: the Crati Basin to the north and the Mesima Basin to the south. The investigated area experienced some of the strongest historical earthquakes of Italy, whose seismogenic sources are still not well defined. We investigated and mapped the major WSW–ENE to WNW–ESE trending normal-oblique Lamezia-Catanzaro Fault System, bounding to the north the Catanzaro Trough. Morphotectonic data reveal that some fault segments have recently been reactivated since they have displaced upper Pleistocene deposits showing typical geomorphic features associated with active normal fault scarps such as triangular and trapezoidal facets, and displaced alluvial fans. The analysis of instrumental seismicity indicates that some clusters of earthquakes have nucleated on the Lamezia-Catanzaro Fault System. In addition, focal mechanisms indicate the prevalence of left-lateral kinematics on E–W roughly oriented fault plains. GPS data confirm that slow left-lateral motion occurs along this fault system. Minor north-dipping normal faults were also mapped in the southern side of the Catanzaro Trough. They show eroded fault scarps along which weak seismic activity and negligible geodetic motion occur. Our study highlights that the Catanzaro Trough is a poliphased Plio-Quaternary extensional basin developed early as a half-graben in the frame of the tear-faulting occurring at the northern edge of the subducting Ionian slab. In this context, the strike-slip motion contributes to the longitudinal segmentation of the Calabrian Arc. In addition, the high number of seismic events evidenced by the instrumental seismicity, the macroseismic intensity distribution of the historical earthquakes and the scaling laws relating to earthquakes and seismogenic faults support the hypothesis that the Lamezia-Catanzaro Fault System may have been responsible for the historical earthquakes since it is capable of triggering earthquakes with magnitude up to 6.9.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences