We present the first high-resolution ultrashallow seismic image of a normal fault segment that ruptured the surface during the Mw 6.5 2016 Norcia earthquake (central Italy). This is the only fault, in the entire activated 25 km-long system, cutting a thick succession of Quaternary deposits, with an associated 3-m-high cumulative scarp. A 190-m-long profile crossing the fault was acquired and analyzed combining reflection seismic, non-linear multiscale refraction P-wave tomography and multi-channel analysis of surface waves. The joint interpretation of the seismic reflection, P- and S-wave velocity images unravels a 100-m-thick sequence of sandy-gravel alluvial fans, disrupted by a main normal fault zone, named as Valle delle Fonti fault (Vf1), which branches upward into three splays. The eastern splay of Vf1 matches with the 2016 coseismic surface rupture. Near-surface truncated reflections and growth strata in the hanging wall of the western and intermediate splays attest to their activity in Late Pleistocene-Holocene times. We also detect an additional normal fault in the footwall of Vf1, probably inactive since the Late Pleistocene. Comparing the seismic images with the Poisson's coefficient model and with the results of a previous electrical resistivity tomography, we constrain the lithology and the hydraulic behavior of the uppermost 50 m of the fault. A steep, W-dipping zone with high-Vp, very high Poisson's coefficient and low resistivity correlates with the eastern splay of Valle delle Fonti fault and unravels a water-saturated region. These results suggest that the fault zone may act as a partial barrier for horizontal fluid flow. Our findings indicate that the active fault zone detected by seismic imaging is much wider than what previously estimated from surface geological analyses. In terms of surface faulting hazard, this study confirms the effectiveness of high-resolution seismic surveys in defining the geometry and physical properties of active fault zones.

Active fault detection and characterization by ultrashallow seismic imaging: a case study from the 2016 Mw 6.5 central Italy earthquake

pier paolo gennaro bruno
Validation
;
2023

Abstract

We present the first high-resolution ultrashallow seismic image of a normal fault segment that ruptured the surface during the Mw 6.5 2016 Norcia earthquake (central Italy). This is the only fault, in the entire activated 25 km-long system, cutting a thick succession of Quaternary deposits, with an associated 3-m-high cumulative scarp. A 190-m-long profile crossing the fault was acquired and analyzed combining reflection seismic, non-linear multiscale refraction P-wave tomography and multi-channel analysis of surface waves. The joint interpretation of the seismic reflection, P- and S-wave velocity images unravels a 100-m-thick sequence of sandy-gravel alluvial fans, disrupted by a main normal fault zone, named as Valle delle Fonti fault (Vf1), which branches upward into three splays. The eastern splay of Vf1 matches with the 2016 coseismic surface rupture. Near-surface truncated reflections and growth strata in the hanging wall of the western and intermediate splays attest to their activity in Late Pleistocene-Holocene times. We also detect an additional normal fault in the footwall of Vf1, probably inactive since the Late Pleistocene. Comparing the seismic images with the Poisson's coefficient model and with the results of a previous electrical resistivity tomography, we constrain the lithology and the hydraulic behavior of the uppermost 50 m of the fault. A steep, W-dipping zone with high-Vp, very high Poisson's coefficient and low resistivity correlates with the eastern splay of Valle delle Fonti fault and unravels a water-saturated region. These results suggest that the fault zone may act as a partial barrier for horizontal fluid flow. Our findings indicate that the active fault zone detected by seismic imaging is much wider than what previously estimated from surface geological analyses. In terms of surface faulting hazard, this study confirms the effectiveness of high-resolution seismic surveys in defining the geometry and physical properties of active fault zones.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/908088
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