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Authors: Mariucci, M. T.* 
Mϋller, B.*
Title: The tectonic regime in Italy inferred from borehole breakout data
Issue Date: 9-Jan-2003
Series/Report no.: 1-2/361(2003)
Keywords: active stress
tectonic regime
borehole breakout
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
Abstract: In Italy, the horizontal stress directions are well constrained in many regions, but the tectonic regime is not well known because the stress magnitudes are unknown. Our intention is to improve the knowledge of crustal stress in Italy, both at shallow depth and in low seismicity areas. Therefore, we inferred the tectonic regime from the comparison between the depth of breakout occurrence and the physical properties of the rocks in 20 boreholes. The critical value of the maximum horizontal stress, for which the effective tangential stress at the borehole wall overcomes the rock strength to form breakouts, could be computed from rock strength and density. Comparing the theoretical stress distributions for different tectonic regimes with the depth distribution of breakout occurrence, it is possible to infer the tectonic regime that fits best to the breakout depth distribution. We investigated boreholes up to 6 km deep located in different tectonic environments over the Italian peninsula: the Po Plain, the Apenninic chain, the Adriatic foredeep and the Tyrrhenian Quaternary volcanic region. These wells are characterised by breakout data of good quality (A, B and C, according to World Stress Map quality ranking system). The results are in general agreement with the style of faulting derived from earthquake focal mechanisms and other stress indicators. Our results show a predominance of a normal faulting (NF) regime in the inner Apennines and both normal faulting and strike–slip faulting (SS) style in the surrounding regions, possibly also associated with changes in the tectonic regime with depth.
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