Source characteristics of 2000 small earthquakes nucleating on the Alto Tiberina fault system (central Italy).

Monday, 15 December 2014
Irene Munafo, Luca Malagnini, Elisa Tinti, Lauro Chiaraluce, Raffaele Di Stefano and Luisa Valoroso, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Roma, Italy
The Alto Tiberina Fault (ATF) is a 60 km long east-dipping low-angle normal fault, located in a sector of the Northern Apennines (Italy) undergoing active extension since the Quaternary. The ATF has been imaged by analyzing the active source seismic reflection profiles, and the instrumentally recorded persistent background seismicity. The present study is an attempt to separate the contributions of source, site, and crustal attenuation, in order to focus on the mechanics of the seismic sources on the ATF, as well on the synthetic and the antithetic structures within the ATF hanging-wall (i.e. Colfiorito fault, Gubbio fault and Umbria Valley fault).

In order to compute source spectra, we perform a set of regressions over the seismograms of 2000 small earthquakes (-0.8 < ML< 4) recorded between 2010 and 2014 at 50 permanent seismic stations deployed in the framework of the Alto Tiberina Near Fault Observatory project (TABOO) and equipped with three-components seismometers, three of which located in shallow boreholes. Because we deal with some very small earthquakes, we maximize the signal to noise ratio (SNR) with a technique based on the analysis of peak values of bandpass-filtered time histories, in addition to the same processing performed on Fourier amplitudes. We rely on a tool called Random Vibration Theory (RVT) to completely switch from peak values in the time domain to Fourier spectral amplitudes.

Low-frequency spectral plateau of the source terms are used to compute moment magnitudes (Mw) of all the events, whereas a source spectral ratio technique is used to estimate the corner frequencies (Brune spectral model) of a subset of events chosen over the analysis of the noise affecting the spectral ratios. So far, the described approach provides high accuracy over the spectral parameters of earthquakes of localized seismicity, and may be used to gain insights into the underlying mechanics of faulting and the earthquake processes.