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Authors: Galli, P.* 
Galadini, F.* 
Pantosti, D.* 
Title: Twenty Years of Paleoseismology in Italy
Issue Date: 2008
Series/Report no.: 1-2/88(2008)
DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2008.01.001
Keywords: Italy
catalogue of paleoseismicity
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology 
Abstract: Italy has one of the most complete and historically extensive seismic catalogues in the World due to a unique and uninterrupted flow of written sources that have narrated its seismic history since about the end of the Iron Age. Seismic hazard studies have therefore always been mainly based upon this huge mass of data. Nevertheless, the Italian catalogue probably “lacks” many M≥6.5 events, the seismogenetic structures responsible for which are characterized by recurrence times that are longer than the time span covered by our historical sources. For these reasons, and as in other countries, earthquake data that in Italy have been derived from paleoseismological studies should finally become a necessary ingredient in seismic risk assessment. Indeed, over the past 20 years, some hundred trenches have been excavated, supplying reliable and conclusive data on the recent activities of many faults. Through to many robust datings of surface fault events, these studies have provided the ages of several unknown or poorly known M≥6.5 earthquakes. Here, we summarize the state of the art of paleoseismology in Italy, and present a first catalogue of 56 paleoearthquakes (PCI) that occurred mainly in the past 6 kyr. The PCI integrates the historical/instrumental seismic catalogue, and extends it beyond the recurrence time of the seismogenetic faults (2000±1000 yr). We feel confident that the use of the PCI will enhance future probabilistic seismic hazard assessment, and thus contribute to more reliable seismic risk mitigation programs.
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