Long-term earthquake potential of active faults by using coastal and off-shore geological and morphological indicators

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review


Seismogenic fault models and active deformation ones coupled with models of both earthquake rate and earthquake probability were recently used in a time-independent modelling. The integration of models allows to estimates the magnitude, location, and likelihood of potentially damaging earthquake ruptures in regions with high natural seismic hazard. Improvements of these models imply the recognition of the spatial geometry of the larger, active faults, deemed to be the source of the most damaging future earthquakes. However, identifying active faults and calculating their geologic slip rates for deriving earthquake rates are not easy tasks in regions inaccessible to direct field studies like active offshore areas.To improve the ability to define seismogenic fault models and active deformation models in offshore areas, we aim to develop a geophysical/geological method that allows to (a) identify the spatial geometry of active faults and fault systems in coastal areas, and (b) deduce the average long-term slip rates and recurrence interval, displacement per event, and elapsed time since the last event along the fault plane. The approach consists of innovative combination of geological and geophysical dataset, sampling methodology and GIS based on morphometric analysis.Preliminary results of this multidisciplinary approach applied to the coastal area of north Sicily document active deformation in an on-land sector of the Sicilian Maghrebian Chain and in its off-shore prolongation. Here we present results concerning the Palermo-Termini Imerese coastal sector based on a combination of: 1) structural data, 2) high-resolution reflection seismic data, 3) time series of GNSS data of the permanent stations of Palermo, Partinico, Prizzi, and Termini compared to the IGS station of Noto, 4) morphometric analysis of high-resolution digital elevation data for the hydrographic basins of the Oreto, Eleuterio, Milicia, San Leonardo, Torto and Imera Settentrionale rivers, and 5) seismological data.In the area of the Capo Zafferano promontory, Pleistocene conglomerates and grainstones are affected by recent tectonic deformation. In particular, at two sites near the village of Porticello we observed two sets of N-S to NNW-SSE and NE-SW striking deformation bands. Both sets have an almost vertical dip and show mutual cross-cutting relationships, suggesting their contemporaneous development. The N-S to NNW-SSE striking set shows left-lateral strike slip kinematic. At place, the deformation bands affect also Upper Pleistocene (Tyrrhenian) bio-calcarenites.In the off-shore, a number of seismic units, bounded by unconformities, were identified on seismic lines. The unit of inferred late Pleistocene age appears to be folded and faulted. Faults generally have an inclination of ca. 50°, small displacements up to 10 m and are sealed by the unit of inferred post-LGM age. Only a limited number of these faults are observed moving ca. 3 km offshore towards the NE.The average values of the velocity vectors obtained for the Palermo, Partinico, Prizzi, and Termini Imerese stations are 4.55, 2.97, 2.96, and 2.15 mm/yr, respectively. The direction of the velocity vectors for all stations is oriented towards the IGS reference station of Noto. The relative displacements of the Termini Imerese, Partinico and Prizzi stations respect to Palermo station are most equal to 0.5 mm/yr. Also, the directions of vectors suggest a clockwise rotation.The drainage network analysis highlights that the trunk streams of Eleuterio and San Leonardo drainage networks are asymmetric towards SE an
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine2
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017


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