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Authors: Ripepe, M.* 
Piccinini, D.* 
Chiaraluce, L.* 
Title: Foreshock sequence of The September 26th, 1997 Umbria-Marche earthquakes
Issue Date: 21-Jan-2000
Series/Report no.: /4 (2000)
Keywords: Dilatancy
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.01. Earthquake faults: properties and evolution 
Abstract: On September 3 (22:07 UTC), 1997 a small earthquake with Mw=4.54 started the foreshocks sequence (1500 th events with ML <3.1) of the September 26 seismic sequence. Two days after, three seismic stations of the University of Camerino were installed around the macroseismic epicenter of the foreshock. We present in this rd th paper the location of foreshocks (with 2.1<ML<3.3) which occurred between September 3 and 26 . Foreshocks location, with horizontal (ERH) and vertical (ERZ) error less than 1.5 km, de?ne an area4 km large. Foreshocks th have been localized between the epicenters of the two major events of September 26 , which occurred at 00:33 UTC with Mw=5.6 and at 09:40 UTC with Mw=6.0 (Amato et al., 1998; Ekström et al., 1998). In a vertical cross- section, hypocenters show a low angle (30) structure with SW dip-direction. Focal mechanisms for three of the major events showdip-slip fault solutions with strike direction of aboutN130, in agreementwith the CMT solutions rd th of September 3 and September 26 earthquakes (Ekström et al., 1998). Data recorded at two stations Popola th (POP) e Capodacqua (CPQ) located on the rupture area of the September 26 faults, allowed us to calculate a mean Vp/Vs ratio of 1.840.03 for the foreshock. This value is lower than the Vp/Vs ratio of 1.890.02 calculated for the aftershock sequence occurred in the same area. Besides, the Vp/Vs ratio during the foreshocks sequence is not th th stable in time but it seems to increase approaching September 26 . After September 26 mainshocks, this value tends to stabilize around a higher value of 1.89. Following the dilatancy model, we suggest that the relative low Vp/Vs ratio before the main shocks could indicate the presence of ?uid in the focal volume. The presence of ?uids could have increased the effective stress on the fault plane and could be responsible for the long foreshock activity th before the two main earthquakes of September 26 . Therefore, we suggest that this foreshock activity could have th also contributed to reduce the friction along the September 26 fault plane, breaking the active structure in two smaller segments. In this hypothesis, foreshock activity could have drastically contributed to mitigate the seismic potential of the Colfiorito’s active structure.
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