The Impact of the Subduction Modeling Beneath Calabria on Seismic Hazard

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Paola Morasca1, William J. Johnson2, Tania Del Giudice1, Pamela Poggi1, Chiara Traverso1 and Eric J. Parker1, (1)D'Appolonia S.p.A., Genoa, Italy, (2)Rhea Engineers & Consultants, Inc., Gibsonia, PA, United States
The aim of this work is to better understand the influence of subduction beneath Calabria on seismic hazard, as very little is known about present-day kinematics and the seismogenic potential of the slab interface in the Calabrian Arc region. This evaluation is significant because, depending on stress conditions, subduction zones can vary from being fully coupled to almost entirely decoupled with important consequences in the seismic hazard assessment.

Although the debate is still open about the current kinematics of the plates and microplates lying in the region and the degree of coupling of Ionian lithosphere beneath Calabria, GPS data suggest that this subduction is locked in its interface sector. Also the lack of instrumentally recorded thrust earthquakes suggests this zone is locked.

The current seismotectonic model developed for the Italian National territory is simplified in this area and does not reflect the possibility of locked subduction beneath the Calabria that could produce infrequent, but very large earthquakes associated with the subduction interface. Because of this we have conducted an independent seismic source analysis to take into account the influence of subduction as part of a regional seismic hazard analysis. Our final model includes two separate provinces for the subduction beneath the Calabria: inslab and interface. From a geometrical point of view the interface province is modeled with a depth between 20-50 km and a dip of 20°, while the inslab one dips 70° between 50 -100 km. Following recent interpretations we take into account that the interface subduction is possibly locked and, in such a case, large events could occur as characteristic earthquakes.

The results of the PSHA analysis show that the subduction beneath the Calabrian region has an influence in the total hazard for this region, especially for long return periods. Regional seismotectonic models for this region should account for subduction.