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Authors: Chiaraluce, L.* 
Barchi, M.* 
Collettini, C.* 
Mirabella, F.* 
Pucci, S.* 
Title: Connecting seismically active normal faults with Quaternary geological structures in a complex extensional environment: The Colfiorito 1997 case history (northern Apennines, Italy)
Journal: Tectonics 
Series/Report no.: 1/24(2005)
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 15-Jan-2005
DOI: doi:10.1029/2004TC001627
Keywords: faults
colfiorito 1997
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.01. Earthquake faults: properties and evolution 
Abstract: The northern Apennines of Italy are characterized by a complex Tertiary tectonic history, where superposed compressional and extensional deformation occurred. In such regions, characterized by low active extensional strain rate, the coseismic surface ruptures are rare and often a matter of much debate resulting in a difficult connection between ‘‘geological’’ faults (i.e., faults which can be mapped at the surface) and ‘‘seismological’’ faults (i.e., faults which actually generate earthquakes). The availability of detailed geological mapping and high-resolution seismological data for the Colfiorito area, struck in 1997 by a sequence of six 5 < Mw 6 normal faulting earthquakes, allow us to compare and verify the existence of geometric and kinematic correspondence between the mapped geological Quaternary faults and the activated structures. In map view, the earthquakes distribution reflects the fault pattern mapped at the surface, the length of activated and mapped faults is quite similar (7–10 km), the coseismic subsided region imaged by interferometric synthetic aperture radar data, is located in the hanging wall of the mapped normal faults that bound the Quaternary basins. In section view, there is a geometric connection between mapped normal faults and the aftershock alignments used to image fault geometry at depth. Comparison of striated fault planes and aftershock focal mechanism solutions show a strong kinematic consistency. This study points out that the Quaternary tectonosedimentary evolution and the present-day geological and geomorphologic setting of the Colfiorito area can be interpreted as the result of repeated, extensional earthquakes, similar to the 1997 events, occurring on NW-SE trending normal faults. Our data also show that the main shocks of the Colfiorito sequence nucleated close to the intersections between the normal faults and the preexisting compressional/transpressional structures, which in 1997 acted as lateral barriers to rupture propagation and consequently constrained the fault size.
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