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Authors: Valoroso, Luisa 
Title: The 2009 MW 6.1 L'Aquila fault system imaged by 64k earthquake locations
Issue Date: 2016
Series/Report no.: /39 (2016)
DOI: 10.1393/ncc/i2016-16286-9
Abstract: On April 6 2009, a MW 6.1 normal-faulting earthquake struck the axial area of the Abruzzo region in central Italy. We investigate the complex architecture and mechanics of the activated fault system by using 64k high-resolution foreshock and aftershock locations. The fault system is composed by two major SW dipping segments forming an en-echelon NW trending system about 50 km long: the high-angle L’Aquila fault and the listric Campotosto fault, located in the first 10 km depth. From the beginning of 2009, foreshocks activated the deepest portion of the mainshock fault. A week before the MW 6.1 event, the largest (MW 4.0) foreshock triggered seismicity migration along a minor off-fault segment. Seismicity jumped back to the main plane a few hours before the mainshock. High-precision locations allowed us to peer into the fault zone showing complex geological structures from the metre to the kilometre scale, analogous to those observed by field studies and seismic profiles. Also, we were able to investigate important aspects of earthquakes nucleation and propagation through the upper crust in carbonate-bearing rocks such as: the role of fluids in normal-faulting earthquakes; how crustal faults terminate at depths; the key role of fault zone structure in the earthquake rupture evolution processes.
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