Kinematics and Seismotectonics of the Montello Thrust Fault (Southeastern Alps, Italy) Revealed by Local GPS and Seismic Networks

Monday, 15 December 2014
Enrico Serpelloni1, Letizia Anderlini1, Adriano Cavaliere1, Stefania Danesi1, Silvia Pondrelli1, Simone Salimbeni1, Peter Danecek2, Marco Massa3 and Sara Lovati3, (1)INGV, Bologna, Italy, (2)INGV, Rome, Italy, (3)INGV, Milan, Italy
The southern Alps fold-and-thrust belt (FTB) in northern Italy is a tectonically active area accommodating large part of the ~N-S Adria-Eurasia plate convergence, that in the southeastern Alps ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 mm/yr, as constrained by a geodetically defined rotation pole. Because of the high seismic hazard of northeastern Italy, the area is well monitored at a regional scale by seismic and GPS networks. However, more localized seismotectonic and kinematic features, at the scale of the fault segments, are not yet resolved, limiting our knowledge about the seismic potential of the different fault segments belonging to the southeastern Alps FTB. Here we present the results obtained from the analysis of data collected during local seismic and geodetic experiments conducted installing denser geophysical networks across the Montello-Bassano-Belluno system, a segment of the FTB that is presently characterized by a lower sismicity rate with respect to the surrounding domains. The Montello anticline, which is the southernmost tectonic features of the southeastern Alps FTB (located ~15 km south of the mountain front), is a nice example of growing anticline associated with a blind thrust fault. However, how the Adria-Alps convergence is partitioned across the FTB and the seismic potential of the Montello thrust (the area has been struck by a Mw~6.5 in 1695 but the causative fault is still largely debated) remained still unresolved. The new, denser, GPS data show that this area is undergoing among the highest geodetic deformation rates of the entire south Alpine chain, with a steep velocity gradient across the Montello anticline. The earthquakes recorded during the experiment, precisely relocated with double difference methods, and the new earthquake focal mechanisms well correlate with available information about sub-surface geological structures and highlight the seismotectonic activity of the Montello thrust fault. We model the GPS velocities using elastic dislocations embedded in a kinematic block model approach, which suggest that the Montello thrust fault is weakly coupled with respect to surrounding segments of the southernmost thrust system. Future works will include the integration of InSAR data and the densification/improvement of the geodetic infrastructure.