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Authors: Pino, N. A. 
Title: Post-seismic relaxation following the 2009 April 6, L’Aquila (Italy), earthquake revealed by the mass position of a broad-band seismometer
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Series/Report no.: /189 (2012)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05450.x
Keywords: Seismic cycle
Earthquake source observations
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.03. Earthquake source and dynamics 
Abstract: Post-seismic relaxation is known to occur after large or moderate earthquakes, on time scales ranging from days to years or even decades. In general, long-term deformation following seismic events has been detected by means of standard geodetic measurements, although seismic instruments are only used to estimate short timescale transient processes. Albeit inertial seismic sensors are also sensitive to rotation around their sensitive axes, the recording of very slow inclination of the ground surface at their standard output channels is practically impossible, because of their design characteristics. However, modern force-balance, broad- band seismometers provide the possibility to detect and measure slow surface inclination, through the analysis of the mass position signal. This output channel represents the integral of the broad-band velocity and is generally considered only for state-of-health diagnostics. In fact, the analysis of mass position data recorded at the time of the 2009 April 6, L’Aquila (MW = 6.3) earthquake, by a closely located STS-2 seismometer, evidenced the occurrence of a very low frequency signal, starting right at the time of the seismic event. This waveform is only visible on the horizontal components and is not related to the usual drift coupled with the temperature changes. This analysis suggests that the observed signal is to be ascribed to slowly developing ground inclination at the station site, caused by post-seismic relaxation following the main shock. The observed tilt reached 1.7 × 10−5 rad in about 2 months. This estimate is in very good agreement with the geodetic observations, giving comparable tilt magnitude and direction at the same site. This study represents the first seismic analysis ever for the mass position signal, suggesting useful applications for usually neglected data.
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