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Authors: Panzera, F.* 
Rigano, R.* 
Lombardo, G.* 
Cara, F.* 
Di Giulio, G.* 
Rovelli, A.* 
Title: The role of alternating outcrops of sediments and basaltic lavas on seismic urban scenario: the study case of Catania, Italy
Journal: Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 
Series/Report no.: 2/9(2011)
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Issue Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1007/s10518-010-9202-x
Keywords: Scenario Earthquake
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: Experimental data and numerical modelling were used to study the effect of local geology on the seismic response of the Catania area. The town extends on a marly clays bedrock and terraced deposits made up by coastal sands and alluvial conglomerates. This sedimentary substratum is deeply entrenched by paleo-valleys filled by lava flows and pyroclastics. Available borehole data and elastic parameters were used to reconstruct a geotechnical model in order to perfome 1D numerical modeling. Seismic urban scenarios were simulated considering destructive (M w = 7.0), strong (M w = 6.2) and moderate (M w = 5.7) earthquakes to assess the shaking level of the different outcropping formations. For each scenario seven real accelerograms were selected from the European Strong Motion Database to assess the expected seismic input at the bedrock. PGA and spectral acceleration at different periods were obtained in the urban area through the equivalent linear numerical code EERA, and contour maps of different levels of shaking were drawn. Standard and horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios were achieved making use of a dataset of 172 seismic events recorded at ten sites located on the main outcropping lithotypes. Spectral ratios inferred from earthquake data were compared with theoretical transfer functions. Both experimental and numerical results confirm the role of the geological and morphologic setting of Catania. Amplification of seismic motion mainly occurs in three different stratigraphic conditions: (a) sedimentary deposits mainly diffused in the south of the study area; (b) spots of soft sediments surrounded by lava flows; (c) intensely fractured and scoriaceous basaltic lavas.
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