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Authors: Turino, C.* 
Scafidi, D.* 
Eva, E.* 
Solarino, S* 
Title: Inferences on active faults at the Southern Alps–Liguria basin junction from accurate analysis of low energy seismicity
Issue Date: 2009
Series/Report no.: /475(2009)
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2009.06.007
Keywords: High precision locations
Focal mechanisms
Fault geometry
Western Liguria
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.01. Earthquake faults: properties and evolution 
Abstract: Seismotectonic studies concern themselves with understanding the distribution of earthquakes in space, time, size and style. Therefore, the better these parameters are known, the most correct the association of any seismic event with the faulting structure that caused it will result. The use of accurate location methods is especially required when dealing with very complex areas, where several faulting systems or relatively small seismogenic structures exist. In fact, even though routinely determined epicentres are capable of revealing the rough picture of the seismicity, they are not suitable for studies of the fine structure of the causative fault, as their location uncertainties are often larger than the source dimension itself. In this work the probabilistic approach of the “Non Linear Localization” has been used to compute precise locations for earthquakes occurred in the last twenty years nearby the Saorge–Taggia line, a complex fault system situated in Western Liguria, close to the border between Italy and France. Together with the Breil– Sospel–Monaco and the Peille–Laghet faults, this line is responsible for the seismic activity of the area. The seismotectonic study is completed through a local tomographic study and the analysis of the focal mechanisms computed for an enlarged area. The results show that the seismicity associated with this fault system is confined within the first 10 km depth. Many clusters of seismic events are identified along the Saorge–Taggia line. The existence of a not previously mapped branch perpendicular to the Saorge–Taggia line is also recognized. Although its position may suggest it to be the continuation of the Breil–Sospel–Monaco fault system towards NE, our finding would rather suggest no association with the fault. The overall results confirm the complexity of the area; in particular the hypothesis that the Saorge–Taggia system may represent the eastward limit of a subalpine crustal block comprised within the Nice Arc, the named fault and a thrust front which is supposed to be located 20 km offshore find a confirm in the shallow depth of the seismic events. In addition we propose that the western limit of the block, located along the Nice arc, could be instead shifted where the Peille–Laghet fault lays.
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