Paleomagnetism of a 150 m Sediment Core from the Co-Seismic Subsidence Depocenter of the 2009 Mw=6.1 L’Aquila Earthquake (Italy)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Patrizia Macri', Massimiliano Porreca, Leonardo Sagnotti, Alessandra Smedile and Fabio Speranza, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy
The 150 m deep borehole LAQUI-CORE was drilled in the co-seismic subsidence depocenter, shown by INSAR images in the middle Aterno continental basin, after the 2009 Mw=6.1 earthquake that struck the historical city of L’Aquila (Italy). The drill site was located where geological, seismological and geophysical surveys indicated a continuous record with a maximum thickness of fine-grained sediments. The aim was to investigate stratigraphic and geometrical architecture of the middle Aterno basin, in order to define its relationship with the local active fault system. The core consists of continental Holocene and Pleistocene sediments subdivided into two main sequences separated by an erosional discontinuity. The upper sequence consists of 41 m thick fluvial-alluvial deposits of silt and sand interbedded with metric intervals of rounded gravel. The lower sequence consists of palustrine sediments of clays and sands interrupted in the middle by a 30 m thick coarse gravel deposit. Biostratigraphic and radiometric measurements on the core are still in progress, while high-resolution paleomagnetic and rock magnetic measurements were performed on u-channel samples. Natural remanent magnetization (NRM), anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM), magnetic susceptibility (k) were measured at 1-cm spacing using a 2G Cryogenic magnetometer. The sediments carry a well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM), isolated between 15 and 40 mT AF steps. The ChRM is of normal polarity down to ca. 83 m depth, with paleomagnetic inclination values oscillating around 57°. The main magnetic carrier in this interval is magnetite, below ca. 115 m depth the data show frequent apparent polarity changes due to the additional widespread occurrence of greigite. This interval has to be anyway older than the Brunhes-Matuyama transition. Relative paleointensity (RPI) curves were obtained by normalising the NRM20mT with k and ARM20mT and may be useful to improve the dating of the core.