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Authors: Castelli, V.* 
Galli, P.* 
Camassi, R.* 
Caracciolo, C.* 
Title: The 1561 Earthquake(s) in Southern Italy: New Insights into a Complex Seismic Sequence
Journal: Journal of Earthquake Engineering 
Series/Report no.: 7/12 (2008)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: Sep-2008
DOI: 10.1080/13632460801890356
Keywords: Hitorical Seismicity
1561 Earthquakes
Active Faults
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.05. Historical seismology 
Abstract: In the summer of 1561, a strong seismic sequence struck southern Italy, then the Spanish-ruled Kingdom of Naples. Both the Italian seismological tradition and the latest catalogues locate it in the Vallo di Diano (Diano Valley), a low-seismicity intermontane basin 100 km south-east of Naples. We explore the hypothesis that current perception of the 1561 earthquake is distorted by the nature of the historical dataset from which its parameters have been assessed, and which mostly derive from a single—albeit very detailed—primary source. We present and discuss several previously unconsidered original accounts. Our results cast doubts on the traditional interpretation of the earthquake, which could have been either one Vallo di Diano mainshock or several strong earthquakes within a time/space window compact enough for contemporary viewers to perceive them as one. Unquestionably, there is much more to the 1561 earthquake(s) than previously appeared. We hope that this groundbreaking effort will rekindle the interest of the seismological community in this seismic episode, our knowledge of which is still far from complete.
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