Seismic slip history of the Aterno-Sulmona fault system in central Apennines (Italy) using in situ produced 36Cl cosmic ray exposure dating.
Monday, 15 December 2014
Acquiring long records of past earthquakes on a large population of faults is a key step to understand how strain release along those fault systems varies spatially and temporally.In central Italy, NE-SW extension (~4 mm/yr) is accommodated on a wide normal fault system (50 x 100km). Benedetti et al. (2013) found that 7 of these faults, belonging to the Fucino fault system, have their seismic activity synchronized during short (less than 1 ka) paroxysmal phases of activity. 36Cl measurements and rare earth elements (REE) concentrations were used to reconstruct the seismic slip history of four major faults belonging to an adjacent 30-km-long fault system, the Aterno-Sulmona fault system, at the southeastward tip of the Paganica fault that ruptured during the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.The preliminary results suggest that 3-7 seismic events have occurred on each fault over the last 11 ka (from NE to SW the Roccapreturo, the Castel di Ieri, the Roccacasale and the Pizzalto faults), with 50 cm to 2 m of associated slip per event. These events appear clustered within intense period of seismic activity lasting less than 1ka (2 to 4 seismic events) separated by 2 to 3 ka periods with no seismic events. The most recent recorded paroxysmal activity occurred about 2.5 ka ago with all four studied faults rupturing in more than 15 earthquakes over a period lasting less than 1ka. These results thus suggest that, as already observed on the Fucino fault system, the seismic activity of the Aterno-Sulmona fault system is also synchronized during short periods of paroxysmal seismic activity.When clustering periods are compared, the seismic activity of the Fucino and the Aterno-Sulmona fault system, are, however, apparently unsynchronized since the most recent clustering period for the Aterno-Sulmona system corresponds to a quiescent period for the Fucino fault system.