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Authors: Dalla Via, G.* 
Sabadini, R.* 
De Natale, G.* 
Pingue, F.* 
Title: Lithospheric rheology in southern Italy inferred from postseismic viscoelastic relaxation following the 1980 Irpinia earthquake
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research 
Series/Report no.: 110, B06311
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 2005
DOI: 10.1029/2004JB003539
Keywords: Lithospheric rheology
Irpinia earthquake
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.01. Earth Interior::04.01.05. Rheology 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.02. Geodynamics 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
Abstract: Postseismic relaxation is modeled for the Irpinia earthquake, which struck southern Italy in 1980. Our goal is to understand the mechanism of surface deformation due to stress relaxation in the deep portion of the crust-lithosphere system for a shallow normal fault source and to infer the rheological properties of the lithosphere in the extensional environment of peninsular Italy. The modeling is carried out within the framework of our normal mode viscoelastic theory at high spatial resolution in order to accurately resolve the vertical surface displacements for a seismic source. The slip distribution over the faults is first inverted from coseismic leveling data, the misfit between observed and modeled vertical displacements being minimized by means of the L2 norm. Slip distribution is then used within the viscoelastic model to invert for the viscosities of the lower crust and generally of the lithosphere. Inversion is based on leveling data sampled along three lines crossing the epicentral area. Postseismic deformation in the Irpinia area is characterized by a broad region of crust upwarping in the footwall of the major fault and downwarping in the hanging wall that is responsible for the long-wavelength features of the vertical displacement pattern. The c2 analysis indicates that the Irpinia earthquake cannot constrain the rheology of the upper mantle but only of the crust; a full search in the viscosity spaces makes it possible to constrain the crustal viscosity to values of the order of 1019 Pa s, in agreement with previous studies carried out in different tectonic environments.
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