It has long been observed that damage due to earthquakes depends greatly on local geological conditions. Alpine valleys represent a typical populated environment where large amplifications can take place owing to the presence of surface soils with poor mechanical properties combined to complex topography of the rock basin. In the framework of the EU Interreg IIIB SISMOVALP Project ‘Seismic hazard and alpine valley response analysis’, a stretch of the Tagliamento River Valley (TRV), located in the north-western part of the Friuli Region (Italy) and close to the epicentre of the 1976 Mw = 6.4 earthquake, has been investigated with the aim to define the buried shape of the valley itself. Two non-invasive, lowcost, independent geophysical methodswere used: (i) detailed gravity survey and (ii) H/V spectral ratio (HVSR) of microtremors. Because of structural geological complexity and active tectonics of the Friuli region, an irregular valley shapewas expected in this area. The independent analysis performed by gravity and passive noise, and complemented with refraction seismic velocity profiles, confirms this hypothesis and leads to two models that were consistent, but for some small scale details. The maximum depth estimated is about 400–450 m in the southern part of the valley, while a mean value of 150–180 m is estimated in the northern part. The sediment thickness obtained for this stretch of the TRV is quite large if compared to eastern Alps Plio-Quaternary rates; therefore the valley shape imaged by this study better corresponds to the top of carbonate rocks. Finally, on the basis of the obtained morphology and some direct measurements,we conclude that the TRV features an overall 1-D seismic response (i.e. the resonance is related only to the sediment thickness rather than to the cross-section shape), but in its deepest part some limited 2-D effects could take place.

The buried shape of an alpine valley from gravity surveys, seismic and ambient noise analyisis

Barnaba C;Vuan A;Palmieri F;Romanelli M;Priolo E;
2010

Abstract

It has long been observed that damage due to earthquakes depends greatly on local geological conditions. Alpine valleys represent a typical populated environment where large amplifications can take place owing to the presence of surface soils with poor mechanical properties combined to complex topography of the rock basin. In the framework of the EU Interreg IIIB SISMOVALP Project ‘Seismic hazard and alpine valley response analysis’, a stretch of the Tagliamento River Valley (TRV), located in the north-western part of the Friuli Region (Italy) and close to the epicentre of the 1976 Mw = 6.4 earthquake, has been investigated with the aim to define the buried shape of the valley itself. Two non-invasive, lowcost, independent geophysical methodswere used: (i) detailed gravity survey and (ii) H/V spectral ratio (HVSR) of microtremors. Because of structural geological complexity and active tectonics of the Friuli region, an irregular valley shapewas expected in this area. The independent analysis performed by gravity and passive noise, and complemented with refraction seismic velocity profiles, confirms this hypothesis and leads to two models that were consistent, but for some small scale details. The maximum depth estimated is about 400–450 m in the southern part of the valley, while a mean value of 150–180 m is estimated in the northern part. The sediment thickness obtained for this stretch of the TRV is quite large if compared to eastern Alps Plio-Quaternary rates; therefore the valley shape imaged by this study better corresponds to the top of carbonate rocks. Finally, on the basis of the obtained morphology and some direct measurements,we conclude that the TRV features an overall 1-D seismic response (i.e. the resonance is related only to the sediment thickness rather than to the cross-section shape), but in its deepest part some limited 2-D effects could take place.
Gravity anomalies and earth structure; Earthquake ground motions; Site effects
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/2734
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