Thrust fault ruptures during earthquakes do not often propagate down to the brittle-ductile transition. Lithological variations control the behavior and depth of regional basal thrusts and decollement planes. Thrust fronts may be discontinuous along strike, limiting the dimension of single coseismic ruptures. These factors control the maximum expected magnitude in one region. This is the case of Italy where the convergence of few millimeter per year in the Apennines accretionary prism and along the retrobelt of the Alps generates compressional earthquakes with moderate to strong magnitudes. Here, using geological and geophysical data, we first compile a map of the undulated active basal thrust decollement for Italy that occurs from 1 to 17-km depth. Then, we verify the relationship between the length of seismogenic ruptures in thrust faults (Lf) and the maximum depth of thrust faulting (zmax) of related earthquakes and find that their ratio (Lf/zmax) ranges between 2 and 4. Finally, we compute the potential seismogenic volume and estimate the maximum magnitude using an empirical relationship that multiplies the decollement depth and the Lf/zmax ratio. Maximum calculated magnitude is 6.7 ± 0.37 (depending on Lf/zmax and fault dip angle), consistent with the largest magnitude of thrust-related earthquakes recorded in Italy (6.5–7.0). Lower magnitudes are predicted in the Ionian Seas at the external front of the Apennines where smaller crustal volumes are involved, whereas higher magnitudes are expected in the southern Po Basin, the western Adriatic Sea, Sicily offshore, and the Southern Alps where the decollement is deeper and the brittle volumes are far greater.
The decollement depth of active thrust faults in Italy. Implications on potential earthquake magnitude / Petricca, P.; Carminati, E.; Doglioni, C.. - In: TECTONICS. - ISSN 0278-7407. - 38:11(2019), pp. 3990-4009.
|Titolo:||The decollement depth of active thrust faults in Italy. Implications on potential earthquake magnitude|
PETRICCA, PATRIZIO (Primo) (Corresponding author)
CARMINATI, Eugenio Ambrogio Maria (Secondo)
DOGLIONI, Carlo (Ultimo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Citazione:||The decollement depth of active thrust faults in Italy. Implications on potential earthquake magnitude / Petricca, P.; Carminati, E.; Doglioni, C.. - In: TECTONICS. - ISSN 0278-7407. - 38:11(2019), pp. 3990-4009.|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||01a Articolo in rivista|