Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/11409
Authors: Sciarra, Alessandra* 
Cantucci, Barbara* 
Coltorti, Massimo* 
Title: Learning from soil gas change and isotopic signatures during 2012 Emilia seismic sequence
Issue Date: 27-Oct-2017
Series/Report no.: /7 (2017)
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-14500-y
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/11409
Keywords: soil gas surveys
2012 Emilia seismic sequence
change in isotopic signatures
Subject Classification04.06. Seismology 
Abstract: Soil surveys were performed in Medolla (Italy), a peculiar area characterized by spotty high soil temperature, gas vent, and lack of vegetation, to determine the migration mechanisms and spatial behavior of gas species. Hereby we present soil gas measurements and their isotopic ratios measured between 2008 and 2015, including the 2012 Emilia-Romagna seismic sequence. We found that soil gas concentrations markedly changed during the main shocks of May 20 and 29, 2012 (Mw 6.1 and 6.0, respectively), highlighting the presence of a buried fault intersecting the gas vents. We suggest that crustal dilation associated with seismic activity favored the uprising of geogas towards the surface. Changes in the isotopic signature highlight the contribution of two distinct sources, one deeper, thermogenic and another superficial related to organic-rich layer, whose relative contribution varied before, during and after the earthquake. We suppose an increase of microbial component likely due to the ground shaking of shallower layers linked to seismic sequence, which masks the thermogenic contribution. Although the changes we detect are specific for an alluvial plain, we deduce that analogous processes may be active elsewhere, and that soil gas geochemistry represents an useful tool to discriminate the gas migration related to seismic activity.
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