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Authors: Guidoboni, E.* 
Valensise, G.* 
Title: On the complexity of earthquake sequences: a historical seismology perspective based on the L'Aquila seismicity (Abruzzo, Central Italy), 1315-1915
Journal: Earthquakes and Structures 
Series/Report no.: 1/8 (2015)
Publisher: Techno Press Services
Issue Date: Jan-2015
DOI: 10.12989/eas.2015.8.1.153
Keywords: earthquake sequences; historical earthquake catalogues; L'Aquila seismicity; Abruzzo seismicity; historical foreshocks; historical aftershocks
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.05. Historical seismology 
Abstract: Most damaging earthquakes come as complex sequences characterized by strong aftershocks, sometimes by foreshocks and often by multiple mainshocks. Complex earthquake sequences have enormous seismic hazard, engineering and societal implications as their impact on buildings and infrastructures may be much more severe at the end of the sequence than just after the mainshock. In this paper we examine whether historical sources can help characterizing the rare earthquake sequences of pre-instrumental times in full, including fore-, main- and aftershocks. Thanks to the its huge documentary heritage, Italy relies on one of the richest parametric earthquake catalogues worldwide. Unfortunately most current methods for assessing seismic hazard require that earthquake catalogues be declustered by removing all shocks that bear some dependency with those identified as mainshocks. We maintain that this requirement has led most modern historical seismologists to focus mainly on mainshocks rather than also on the fore- and aftershocks. To shed light onto major earthquake sequences of the past, rather than onto individual mainshocks, we investigated 10 damaging earthquake sequences ($M_w$ 수식 이미지 4.7-7.0) that hit the L'Aquila area and central Abruzzo from the 14th to the 20th century. We find that most of the results of historical research are important for modern seismology, yet their rendering by the current parametric catalogues causes most information to be lost or not easily transferred to the potential users. For this reason we advocate a change in current strategies and the creation of a more flexible standard for storing and using all the information made available by historical seismology.
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