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Authors: De Martini, P. M.*
Barbano, M. S.*
Smedile, A.*
Gerardi, F.*
Pantosti, D.*
Del Carlo, P.*
Pirrotta, C.*
Title: A unique 4000 yrs long record of multiple tsunami inundations in the Augusta Bay (eastern Sicily, Italy)
Issue Date: 2009
Keywords: tsunami deposits
1693, 365 AD Crete, Santorini tsunamis
Abstract: In this paper, we present the geological evidence for 4000 yrs long record of multiple tsunami inundations along the coast of the Augusta Bay (eastern Sicily) and discuss its paleoseismological implications. The research was carried out through a multi-theme approach which benefited of an extraordinarily long historical record that was used to guide detailed geomorphologic and geologic surveys, coring campaigns and laboratory analyses. Two sites, the Augusta Hospital and Priolo Reserve, were selected and investigated in detail along the 25 km long coastline of the Augusta Bay. We found evidence for six to seven tsunami deposits and we were able to associate three of them, from the Priolo Reserve site, to the 1693 and 365 AD Ionian Sea historical tsunamis and to ~3500 BP Santorini event. Moreover, the other three to four deposits are evidence for unknown paleo-inundations dated about 650-770 AD, 600-400 BC and 975-800 BC (at Augusta Hospital site), and 800-600 BC (at Priolo Reserve site). The exceptional number of tsunami deposits found with this study allowed us to derive an average geologic tsunami recurrence interval in the Augusta bay of about 600 years for the past 4 ka. Conversely, the historical tsunami data for the past millennium suggest an average tsunami recurrence interval of about 250 years. This difference in the average recurrence intervals suggest that only the strongest inundations may leave recognizable geological signatures. We believe that such a long record may have a significant relevance for Civil Protection applications, being these data easily usable in the fields of tsunami scenario and modeling.
Appears in Collections:Manuscripts
04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology

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