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Authors: Maesano, F. A.* 
D'Ambrogi, C.* 
Burrato, P.* 
Toscani, G.* 
Title: Slip-rates of blind thrusts in slow deforming areas: examples from the Po Plain (Italy)
Journal: Tectonophysics 
Series/Report no.: /643 (2015)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2-Jan-2015
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2014.12.007
Keywords: Blind thrusts
Slip rates
3D geological modeling
Sediment decompaction
Po Plain
Northern Apennines
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.01. Earthquake geology and paleoseismology 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
Abstract: We calculate Plio-Pleistocene slip rates on the blind thrusts of the outer Northern Apennines fronts, that are the potential sources of highly damaging earthquakes, as shown by the MW 6.1-6.0, 2012 Emilia-Romagna seismic sequence. Slip rates are a key parameter for understanding the seismogenic potential of active fault systems and assessing the seismic hazard they pose, however, they are difficult to calculate in slow deforming areas like the Po Plain where faulting and folding is mostly blind. To overcome this, we developed a workflow which included the preparation of a homogeneous regional dataset of geological and geophysical subsurface information, rich in Plio- Pleistocene data. We then constructed 3D geological models around selected individual structures to decompact the clastic units and restore the slip on the fault planes. The back-stripping of the differential compaction eliminates unwanted overestimation of the slip rates due to compactioninduced differential subsidence. Finally, to restore the displacement we used different methods according to the deformation style, i.e. Fault Parallel Flow for faulted horizons, trishear and elastic dislocation modeling for fault-propagation folds. The result of our study is the compilation of a slip rate database integrating former published values with 28 new values covering a time interval from the Pliocene to the present. It contains data on 14 individual blind thrusts including the Mirandola thrust, seismogenic source of the 29 May 2012, MW 6.0 earthquake. Our study highlights that the investigated thrusts were active with rates ranging between 0.1-1.0 mm/yr during the last 1.81 Myr. The Mirandola thrust slipped at 0.86±0.38 mm/yr during the last 0.4 Myr. These rates calculated with an homogeneous methodology through the entire Po Plain can be charged entirely to the thrust activity and not to secondary effects like the differential compaction of sediments across the structures.
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