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Authors: Luzi, L.* 
Pacor, F.* 
Ameri, G.* 
Puglia, R.* 
Burrato, P.* 
Massa, M.* 
Augliera, P.* 
Franceschina, G.* 
Lovati, S.* 
Castro, R.* 
Title: Overview on the strong motion data recorded during the May-June 2012 Emilia seismic sequence
Journal: Seismological Research Letters 
Series/Report no.: 4/84 (2013)
Publisher: Seismological Society of America
Issue Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1785/0220120154
Keywords: Strong motion
May-June 2012 Emilia Romagna earthquake sequence
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.04. Ground motion 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.09. Waves and wave analysis 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.11. Seismic risk 
Abstract: On 20 May 2012, at 02:03:52 GMT, an earthquake with Mw 6.1 (RCMT, occurred in northern Italy striking a densely populated area. The mainshock was followed a few hours later by two severe aftershocks having the same local magnitude (Ml 5.1, 1 and 2 in Figure 1a), and by hundreds of smaller aftershocks. Nine days later, on 29 May, at 07:00:03 GMT, a second event with moment magnitude Mw 6.0 (RCMT, occurred to the west, on an adjacent fault segment. This event was also followed by hundreds of aftershocks, three of them having local magnitude 5.3, 5.2 and 5.1 (3, 4 and 5, respectively, in Figure 1a) (locations from Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, hereinafter INGV,; Malagnini et al., 2012; Scognamiglio et al., 2012). Despite the moderate number of casualties if compared to other major events in the Italian history, the economic loss was extremely high, resulting in about EUR 5 billion (AON Benfield, 2012,, as the majority of Italian industrial activities and infrastructures concentrate in this area, the eastern Po plain, which is the largest sedimentary basin in Italy. The mainshocks are associated to two thrust faults with an approximate E-W trend dipping to the South (Figure 1b). The majority of the faults in this region are located in the upper crust, at depths lower than 10 km. The two main shocks are among the strongest earthquakes generated by thrust faults ever recorded in Italy in the instrumental era. The Emilia sequence has been extensively recorded by several strong-motion networks, operating in the Italian territory and neighbouring countries. Some of the networks acquire continuous data streams at their national data centres, which are nodes of EIDA (European Integrated Data Archive, hhtp://, a federation of several archives, so that the waveforms can be obtained immediately after the occurrence of an event. Other networks, such as the Italian accelerometric network (RAN), managed by the Italian Department of the Civil Protection (hereinafter DPC), distribute the acceleration waveforms through their web site ( The data set explored in this study is relative to the six events of the sequence having Ml > 5 (Table 1) and consists in 365 accelerograms recorded within a distance of 200 km from the epicentres, that were provided by the permanent and temporary seismic networks of INGV, the Swiss Seismological Service (SED, and the DPC.
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