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Authors: Vannoli, P.*
Burrato, P.*
Valensise, G.*
Title: The seismotectonics of the Po Plain (northern Italy): tectonic diversity in a blind faulting domain
Title of journal: Pure and Applied Geophysics
Series/Report no.: /172 (2015)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Issue Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s00024-014-0873-0
Keywords: Blind faulting
seismogenic source
active tectonics
seismic hazard
inherited faults
Po Plain
Abstract: We present a systematic and updated overview of a seismotectonic model for the Po Plain (northern Italy). This flat and apparently quiet tectonic domain is in fact rather active as it comprises the shortened foreland and foredeep of both the Southern Alps and the Northern Apennines. Assessing its seismic hazard is crucial due to the concentration of population, industrial activities and critical infrastructures, but it is also complicated because a) the region is geologically very diverse, and b) nearly all potential seismogenic faults are buried beneath a thick blanket of Pliocene-Pleistocene sediments, and hence can be investigated only indirectly. Identifying and parameterizing the potential seismogenic faults of the Po Plain requires proper consideration of their depth, geometry, kinematics, earthquake potential and location with respect to the two confronting orogens. To this end we subdivided them into four main homogeneous groups. Over the past 15 years we developed new strategies for coping with this diversity, resorting to different data and modeling approaches as required by each individual fault group. The most significant faults occur beneath the thrust fronts of the Ferrara-Romagna and Emilia arcs, which correspond to the most advanced and buried portions of the Northern Apennines and were the locus of the destructive May 2012 earthquake sequence. The largest known Po Plain earthquake, however, occurred on an elusive reactivated fault cutting the Alpine foreland south of Verona. Significant earthquakes are expected to be generated also by a set of transverse structures segmenting the thrust system, and by the deeper ramps of the Apennines thrusts. The new dataset is intended to be included in the next version of the Database of Seismogenic Sources (DISS;, version 3.2.0, developed and maintained by INGV) to improve completeness of potential sources for seismic hazard assessment.
Appears in Collections:04.07.07. Tectonics
04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology
04.06.01. Earthquake faults: properties and evolution
Papers Published / Papers in press

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