Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/553
AuthorsMiller, S. A.* 
Collettini, C.* 
Chiaraluce, L.* 
Cocco, M.* 
Barchi, M.* 
Kaus, B. J. P.* 
TitleAftershocks driven by a high-pressure CO2 source at depth
Issue Date19-Feb-2004
Series/Report no./427(2004)
DOI10.1038/nature02251
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/553
Keywordsaftershock
CO2
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.01. Geochemical exploration 
AbstractIn northern Italy in 1997, two earthquakes of magnitudes 5.7 and 6 (separated by nine hours) marked the beginning of a sequence that lasted more than 30 days, with thousands of aftershocks including four additional events with magnitudes between 5 and 6. This normal-faulting sequence is not well explained with models of elastic stress transfer1,2, particularly the persistence of hanging-wall seismicity3 that included two events with magnitudes greater than 5. Here we show that this sequence may have been driven by a fluid pressure pulse generated from the coseismic release of a known deep source4 of trapped high-pressure carbon dioxide (CO2). We find a strong correlation between the high-pressure front and the aftershock hypocentres over a twoweek period, using precise hypocentre locations5 and a simple model of nonlinear diffusion. The triggering amplitude (10– 20MPa) of the pressure pulse overwhelms the typical (0.1– 0.2MPa) range from stress changes in the usual stress triggering models1,6. We propose that aftershocks of large earthquakes in such geologic environments may be driven by the coseismic release of trapped, high-pressure fluids propagating through damaged zones created by the mainshock. This may provide a link between earthquakes, aftershocks, crust/mantle degassing and earthquake-triggered large-scale fluid flow.
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