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Authors: Caporali, Alessandro* 
Braitenberg, Carla* 
Montone, Paola* 
Rossi, Giuliana* 
Valensise, Gianluca* 
Viganò, Alfio* 
Zurutuza, Joaquin* 
Title: A quantitative approach to the loading rate of seismogenic sources in Italy
Journal: Geophysical Journal International 
Series/Report no.: 3/213(2018)
Issue Date: 2018
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggy112
Abstract: To investigate the transfer of elastic energy between a regional stress field and a set of localized faults, we project the stress rate tensor inferred from the Italian GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) velocity field onto faults selected from the Database of Individual Seismogenic Sources (DISS 3.2.0). For given Lamé constants and friction coefficient, we compute the loading rate on each fault in terms of the Coulomb failure function (CFF) rate. By varying the strike, dip and rake angles around the nominal DISS values, we also estimate the geometry of planes that are optimally oriented for maximal CFF rate. Out of 86 Individual Seismogenic Sources (ISSs), all well covered by GNSS data, 78–81 (depending on the assumed friction coefficient) load energy at a rate of 0–4 kPa yr−1. The faults displaying larger CFF rates (4–6 ± 1 kPa yr−1) are located in the central Apennines and are all characterized by a significant strike-slip component. We also find that the loading rate of 75% of the examined sources is less than 1 kPa yr−1 lower than that of optimally oriented faults. We also analysed 2016 August 24 and October 30 central Apennines earthquakes (Mw 6.0–6.5, respectively). The strike of their causative faults based on seismological and tectonic data and the geodetically inferred strike differ by <30°. Some sources exhibit a strike oblique to the direction of maximum strain rate, suggesting that in some instances the present-day stress acts on inherited faults. The choice of the friction coefficient only marginally affects this result.
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