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Authors: Doglioni, Carlo 
Title: Origin of Seismicity in Italy as a Clue for Seismic Hazard
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2023
ISBN: 978-3-031-21186-7
Keywords: Italian geodynamics
Vertical motion
Epicentral areas
Active domain
Subject Classification04.07. Tectonophysics 
Abstract: ItalianseismicityisgeneratedbytheongoingsubductionoftheEuro- pean lithosphere beneath the Alps, and the Adriatic lithosphere beneath the Apen- nines. The two belts are extremely different due to their opposite polarity relative to the inferred underlying ‘eastward’ mantle flow. Contractional tectonics is con- centrated in low topography areas, whereas extensional tectonics and the larger magnitude seismicity due to normal faulting is preferentially located along the Apennines ridge, where the brittle crustal layer is thicker and the lithostatic load is maximum. Seismicity is the result of dissipation of energy along passive faults but stored mostly in crustal volumes located in the hangingwall of the faults. The 2–5 mm/yr deformation in all Italian tectonic settings prevents the occurrence of great earthquakes (Mw 8) that rather occur in other areas of the world where deformation rates are at least one order of magnitude faster. The maximum event so far recorded in Italy is Mw 7.3, 1693 southeast Sicily. InSAR data nowadays provide a precise definition of the epicentral area of an earthquake, which can be several hundred km2. The epicentral area is defined as the ‘active’ domain where the hangingwall is moving along the fault and it is contemporaneously crossed by the seismic waves radiated by the fault plane due to the friction in it. Within the active domain occur the strongest coseismic shaking, both vertical and horizontal. The vertical coseismic motion allows the horizontal shaking to be much more effective.
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