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Authors: Pastori, Marina* 
Baccheschi, Paola* 
Margheriti, Lucia* 
Title: Shear Wave Splitting Evidence and Relations With Stress Field and Major Faults From the “Amatrice‐Visso‐Norcia Seismic Sequence”
Issue Date: 15-Aug-2019
DOI: 10.1029/2018TC005478
Abstract: We present the largest dataset of anisotropic high‐quality parameters (~12,000) for the Amatrice‐Visso‐Norcia seismic sequence and investigate the physical mechanisms causing crustal anisotropy and its relation with crustal deformation, stress field, fluids, and earthquake generation. We performed shear wave splitting analysis on ~40,000 aftershocks recorded at 31 seismic stations during the first six months of the sequence following the 24 August 2016 Mw 6.0, Amatrice mainshock. Automatic and manual‐revised P‐ and S‐picking and high‐precision locations are used to delineate the fracturing pattern and spatio‐temporal variations in the anisotropic parameters: fast direction polarization (φ) and delay time (δt). The mean φ strikes N146°, parallel to the extensional Quaternary fault systems, and to the NW‐SE local active SHmax as proposed by the extensive dilatancy anisotropy model. Locally, φ directions outline the pattern of microscale and mesoscale structures that we relate to structural‐controlled anisotropy. Temporal variations of anisotropic parameters allowed us to deduce stress‐induced and pervasive fluid‐filled stress‐aligned crack systems as the prevalent anisotropic mechanisms in some sectors. Higher δt (>0.072 s) and higher anisotropy percentage (>1.5–2.0%) are found at the boundaries and in the western side of the activated fault systems, where heavily fractured carbonates are present. The fault network along with the lithological heterogeneities present in the area may act as a structural barrier along which fluids are channeled or trapped, thus causing overpressured fluid zones. Observations of shear‐wave splitting parameters during a seismic sequence can monitor the buildup of stress before earthquakes and the stress release as earthquakes occur.
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