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Authors: Neri, G.* 
Barberi, G.* 
Orecchio, B.* 
Mostaccio, A.* 
Title: Seismic strain and seismogenic stress regimes in the crust of the southern Tyrrhenian region
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2003
Series/Report no.: 1-2/213(2003)
Keywords: crustal seismicity
seismic strain
seismogenic stress
Tyrrhenian sea and Italy
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.02. Seismological data 
Abstract: An investigation has been performed to identify and characterize the seismic deformation zones active over the last decades in the region of Italy that has experienced the strongest seismicity during the last centuries. The study is based on the estimate of hypocenter locations, fault plane solutions, seismogenic stress and seismic strain tensor orientations carried out using the entire dataset of the national and local seismic networks, and the recently improved three-dimensional (3D) crustal velocity model of the study area. A series of simulation tests have been performed to evaluate the significance of the earthquake space distribution obtained and whether it was influenced by network geometry problems related to the sea and the lack of ocean bottom seismometers. In the sectors where hypocentral location was synthetically proved to be reliable, space distributions of earthquakes located with epicenter and focal depth errors less than 3 and 4 km, respectively, have been compared with local geology in order to identify seismogenic faults. The dataset of 32 fault plane solutions estimated with fault parameter errors less than 20° has been used to investigate space variations of seismogenic stress and seismic strain orientations over the study area. Stress was found to be uniform in the Messina Strait and southern Calabria where inversion of the available set of 11 fault plane solutions showed clear evidence of an extensional regime. The different orientations of the minimum compressive stress and strain found in this sector, together with the information available on local geology and tectonics, lead us to propose that the seismicity occurring over the last decades in the Messina Strait and southern Calabria was not in general produced at the main faults, but at minor faults activated by the main tectonic stress field acting in the area. To the west, in the sector including western Etna, the Nebrodi chain and the western Aeolian Islands, analysis of the available set of 16 fault plane solutions revealed a certain degree of stress heterogeneity with an apparent prevalence of north–south compression. This east to west change of stress–strain regimes is evaluated in the light of current hypotheses regarding the geodynamics of the study region.
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