The numerical block-model of the lithosphere dynamics is used to simulate seismicity in Italy and its surroundings, based on the available structural and geodynamics information. The purpose of the study is to understand which are the tectonic processes that control the main features of the observed seismicity and the kinematics of the region. The influence of the rheology of the fault systems is studied as well. The model we use differs from other modeling approaches in that it simulates earthquakes and hence it possibly relates to seismicity and geodynamics. The model provides an effective capability to include the set of documented constraints supplied by widely available earthquake catalogs. This is done by means of the comparison of the GR relation, of the focal mechanisms and of the space distribution for observed and computed seismicity. The region is modeled as a system of perfectly rigid blocks, separated by infinitely thin fault planes, in viscoelastic interaction between themselves and with the underlying medium. The movement of the boundary blocks and of the underlying medium determines the motion of the blocks. The synthetic seismicity obtained with the defined block-model is similar to the observed one for the most seismically active areas. A linear frequency-magnitude (FM) relation (Gutenberg-Richter law) is obtained for synthetic earthquakes; the slope (b-value) of the FM plot appears larger for the synthetic seismicity than for the observed one. Nevertheless, the b-value is essentially larger in northern and central Italy than that in southern Italy, both in the model and in the observations. The analysis of the source mechanisms of the synthetic earthquakes shows a good agreement with the observations. In the model normal faulting is typical for the Apennines, the eastern edge of Sicily and the Calabrian arc, while reverse faulting takes place at the northwestern boundary of the Adriatic Sea, in the southern Alps and along the eastern edge of the Adria, along the Dinarides. The model correctly reproduces the extension zone along the Apennines and the contraction zone along the northwestern boundary of the Adriatic Sea; the counter-clockwise rotation of the Adria is mimed. The resulting movements of the blocks are in overall agreement with GPS (Global Positioning System) observations. The results of the modeling experiments suggest that the main features of dynamics and seismicity in the central Mediterranean region cannot be satisfactorily explained as a consequence of Africa and Eurasia convergence only; the passive subduction in the Calabrian arc and the different rheology of faults are essential as well.

Simulation of Seismicity in the Block-structure Model of Italy and its Surroundings

PERESAN A;
2007

Abstract

The numerical block-model of the lithosphere dynamics is used to simulate seismicity in Italy and its surroundings, based on the available structural and geodynamics information. The purpose of the study is to understand which are the tectonic processes that control the main features of the observed seismicity and the kinematics of the region. The influence of the rheology of the fault systems is studied as well. The model we use differs from other modeling approaches in that it simulates earthquakes and hence it possibly relates to seismicity and geodynamics. The model provides an effective capability to include the set of documented constraints supplied by widely available earthquake catalogs. This is done by means of the comparison of the GR relation, of the focal mechanisms and of the space distribution for observed and computed seismicity. The region is modeled as a system of perfectly rigid blocks, separated by infinitely thin fault planes, in viscoelastic interaction between themselves and with the underlying medium. The movement of the boundary blocks and of the underlying medium determines the motion of the blocks. The synthetic seismicity obtained with the defined block-model is similar to the observed one for the most seismically active areas. A linear frequency-magnitude (FM) relation (Gutenberg-Richter law) is obtained for synthetic earthquakes; the slope (b-value) of the FM plot appears larger for the synthetic seismicity than for the observed one. Nevertheless, the b-value is essentially larger in northern and central Italy than that in southern Italy, both in the model and in the observations. The analysis of the source mechanisms of the synthetic earthquakes shows a good agreement with the observations. In the model normal faulting is typical for the Apennines, the eastern edge of Sicily and the Calabrian arc, while reverse faulting takes place at the northwestern boundary of the Adriatic Sea, in the southern Alps and along the eastern edge of the Adria, along the Dinarides. The model correctly reproduces the extension zone along the Apennines and the contraction zone along the northwestern boundary of the Adriatic Sea; the counter-clockwise rotation of the Adria is mimed. The resulting movements of the blocks are in overall agreement with GPS (Global Positioning System) observations. The results of the modeling experiments suggest that the main features of dynamics and seismicity in the central Mediterranean region cannot be satisfactorily explained as a consequence of Africa and Eurasia convergence only; the passive subduction in the Calabrian arc and the different rheology of faults are essential as well.
Block-model; Numerical simulation; Seismicity; synthetic catalog; Lithosphere dynamics; Italy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/4218
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