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Authors: Scognamiglio, Laura* 
Margheriti, Lucia* 
Mele, Francesco Mariano* 
Tinti, Elisa* 
Bono, Andrea* 
De Gori, Pasquale* 
Lauciani, Valentino* 
Lucente, Francesco Pio* 
Mandiello, Alfonso Giovanni* 
Marcocci, Carlo* 
Mazza, Salvatore* 
Pintore, Stefano* 
Quintiliani, Matteo* 
Title: The 2012 Pianura Padana Emiliana seimic sequence: locations, moment tensors and magnitudes
Journal: Annals Geophysics 
Series/Report no.: 4/55(2012)
Issue Date: 2012
DOI: 10.4401/ag-6159
Abstract: On May 20, 2012 (02:03:53 UTC), an MW 5.86 (ML 5.9) earthquake struck the Pianura Padana Emiliana region (northern Italy), causing five deaths and damage to several villages and to the towns of Ferrara and Modena. The main- shock was preceded, three hours earlier, by a MW 3.98 (ML 4.1) foreshock, which almost co-located with the main event. After the main event, the seismic sequence included six earthquakes with magnitudes >5.0. The biggest aftershock was located about 12 km west of the first mainshock, and was a MW 5.66 (ML 5.8) earthquake that occurred on May 29, 2012 (07:00:03 UTC); this can be considered as a second mainshock. After this event, the official death toll of the seis- mic sequence was 17 people. Moreover, there had been se- vere damage to the economy of the region and there were 13,000 homeless. This region is on the outer front of the northern Apen- nines, and it has been characterized by relatively low seismic hazard [Seismic Hazard Map of Italy - MPS04; MPS Working Group 2004]. In the three months preceding May 19, 2012, this area experienced a few events with maximum magnitude ML 2.9, and since 2005, this area has been characterized by relatively moderate seismicity, which has been mainly con- centrated along the Apennine front that delimits the south- ern Po Plain [ISIDe DataBase; Mele et al. 2007]. The last large historical earthquakes in the studied area were: the Novem- ber 17, 1570, MW 5.48 Ferrara event, and the March 17, 1574, event that produced damage in Finale Emilia (MW 4.72) [CPTI11 2011; Rovida et al. 2011]. The northern Apennines frontal thrust system is com- posed of a pile of NE-verging tectonic units that have devel- oped as a consequence of the Cenozoic collision between the European plate and the Adria plate [Boccaletti et al. 2011]. The geometries of the thrusts buried below the Po Plain sediments have been studied through seismic reflection profiles [Pieri and Groppi 1981, Ori and Friend 1984], and they show three major curved thrust fronts: the Monferrato, Emilia, and Ferrara-Romagna Arcs. Active NE-SW shorten- ing along the outer Apennines front has been documented by: global positioning system data, that show an average hor- izontal shortening of approximately 1 mm/y [Zerbini et al. 2006, Devoti et al. 2010]; borehole breakouts [Montone and Mariucci 1999, Montone et al. 2004]; and centroid moment tensor solutions [Pondrelli et al. 2006]. This activated fault system is elongated in the East-West direction (almost 50 km long), and centered on the village of Mirandola, the epicenter of the mainshock. In this study, we have analyzed data that arrived in real time at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV; National In- stitute of Geophysics and Volcanology) seismic monitoring center from permanent (Italian National Seismic Network; INSN) and temporary [Moretti et al. 2012, this volume] seis- mic stations, to describe the spatial and temporal evolution of the seismic sequence and the source parameters for earth- quakes with ML ≥4.0, and to perform an accurate study for ML calibration.
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