11 Jun 2021

11 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Structural complexities and tectonic barriers controlling recent seismic activity of the Pollino area (Calabria-Lucania, Southern Italy) – constraints from stress inversion and 3D fault model building

Daniele Cirillo1,2, Cristina Totaro2,3, Giusy Lavecchia1,2, Barbara Orecchio2,3, Rita de Nardis1,2, Debora Presti2,3, Federica Ferrarini1,2, Simone Bello1,2, and Francesco Brozzetti1,2 Daniele Cirillo et al.
  • 1Università degli studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti-Pescara, DiSPUTer, via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy
  • 2CRUST Centro inteRUniversitario per l’analisi SismoTettonica tridimensionale, Italy
  • 3Università degli studi di Messina, Dipartimento di Scienze Matematiche e Informatiche, Scienze Fisiche e Scienze della Terra-Viale F. Stagno D'Alcontres, 98166, Messina, Italy

Abstract. The integration of field geology and high-resolution seismological data allowed us to reconstruct the 3D Fault Model of the sources which gave rise to the 2010–2014 Pollino seismic sequence.

The model is constrained at the surface by structural geological data which provide the true attitude of the single faults and their cross-cut relationships. At depth, the fault geometry was obtained using the distributions of selected high-quality relocated hypocenters. Relocations were carried out through a non-linear Bayloc algorithm, followed by the double-difference relative location method HypoDD, applied to a 3D P-wave velocity model.

Geological and seismological data converge in describing an asymmetric active extensional fault system characterized by an E to NNE-dipping low-angle detachment, with its high-angle synthetic splays, and SW- to WSW-dipping, high-angle antithetic faults.

The cluster of hypocenters and the peculiar time-space evolution of the seismic activity highlight that two sub-parallel WSW-dipping seismogenic sources, namely the Rotonda-Campotenese and Morano-Piano di Ruggio faults activated during the seismic crisis.

By applying to the activated structures the appropriate earthquake-scaling relationships, based on fault length and fault area, we infer that the maximum expected magnitudes calculated using the fault area are the more reliable. We estimated Mw = 6.4 for the Rotonda-Campotenese and Mw = 6.2 for the Morano-Piano di Ruggio deducing that both the faults did not release their seismic potential during the 2010–2014 seismic sequence.

The size of the activated patches, reconstructed by projecting on the 3D seismogenic fault planes the early aftershocks of the seismicity clusters, are consistent with the observed magnitude of the associate strongest events.

Finally, we point out that the western segment of the Pollino Fault, despite not being presently active, acts as a barrier to the southern propagation of the Rotonda-Campotenese and Morano-Piano di Ruggio faults, limiting their dimensions and seismogenic potential.

Daniele Cirillo et al.

Status: open (until 23 Jul 2021)

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Daniele Cirillo et al.

Daniele Cirillo et al.


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Short summary
The Pollino region is a highly seismic area of Italy. Increasing the geological knowledge on areas like this contributes reducing risk and saving lives. We reconstruct the 3D model of the faults which generated the 2010–2014 seismicity integrating geological and seismological data. Appropriate relationships based on the dimensions of the activated faults, suggest that they did not fully discharge their seismic potential and could release further significant earthquakes in the near future.