According to the historical earthquake catalog of Italy, the country experienced a pulse of seismicity between the 17th century, when the rate of destructive events increased by more than 100%, and the 20th century, characterized by a symmetric decrease. In the present work, I performed a statistical analysis to verify the reliability of such transient, considering different sources of bias and uncertainty, such as completeness and declustering of the catalog, as well as errors on magnitude estimation. I also searched for a confirmation externally to the catalog, analyzing the correlation with the volcanic activity. The similarity is high for the eruptive history of Vesuvius, which agrees on both the main rate changes of the 17th and 20th centuries and on minor variations in the intermediate period. Of general interest, beyond the specific case of Italy, the observed rate changes suggest the existence of large-scale crustal processes taking place within decades and lasting for centuries, responsible for the synchronous activation/ deactivation of remote, loosely connected faults in different tectonic domains. Although their origin is still unexplained (I discuss a possible link with the climate changes and the consequent variations of the sea level), their existence and long lasting is critical for seismic hazard computation. In fact, they introduce a hardly predictable time variability that undermines any hypothesis of regularity of the earthquake cycle on individual faults and systems of interconnected faults.

A Statistical Investigation on a Seismic Transient Occurred in Italy Between the 17th and 20th Centuries

Bragato P
2017

Abstract

According to the historical earthquake catalog of Italy, the country experienced a pulse of seismicity between the 17th century, when the rate of destructive events increased by more than 100%, and the 20th century, characterized by a symmetric decrease. In the present work, I performed a statistical analysis to verify the reliability of such transient, considering different sources of bias and uncertainty, such as completeness and declustering of the catalog, as well as errors on magnitude estimation. I also searched for a confirmation externally to the catalog, analyzing the correlation with the volcanic activity. The similarity is high for the eruptive history of Vesuvius, which agrees on both the main rate changes of the 17th and 20th centuries and on minor variations in the intermediate period. Of general interest, beyond the specific case of Italy, the observed rate changes suggest the existence of large-scale crustal processes taking place within decades and lasting for centuries, responsible for the synchronous activation/ deactivation of remote, loosely connected faults in different tectonic domains. Although their origin is still unexplained (I discuss a possible link with the climate changes and the consequent variations of the sea level), their existence and long lasting is critical for seismic hazard computation. In fact, they introduce a hardly predictable time variability that undermines any hypothesis of regularity of the earthquake cycle on individual faults and systems of interconnected faults.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/1971
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