High-precision differential earthquake location in 3-D models : evidence for a rheological barrier controlling the microseismicity at the Irpinia fault zone in southern Apennines

Abstract : A non-linear, global-search, probabilistic, double-difference earthquake location technique is illustrated. The main advantages of this method are the determination of comprehensive and complete solutions through the probability density function (PDF), the use of differential arrival times as data and the possibility to use a 3-D velocity model both for absolute and double-difference locations, all of which help to obtain accurate differential locations in structurally complex geological media. The joint use of this methodology and an accurate differential time data set allowed us to carry out a high-resolution, earthquake location analysis, which helps to characterize the active fault geometries in the studied region. We investigated the recent microseismicity occurring at the Campanian-Lucanian Apennines in the crustal volume embedding the fault system that generated the 1980 MS 6.9 earthquake in Irpinia. In order to obtain highly accurate seismicity locations, we applied the method to the P and S arrival time data set from 1312 events (ML < 3.1) that occurred from August 2005 to April 2011 and used the 3-D P- and S-wave velocity models optimized for the area under study. Both manually refined and cross-correlation refined absolute arrival times have been used. The refined seismicity locations show that the events occur in a volume delimited by the faults activated during the 1980 MS 6.9 Irpinia earthquake on subparallel, predominantly normal faults. We find an abrupt interruption of the seismicity across an SW–NE oriented structural discontinuity corresponding to a contact zone between different rheology rock formations (carbonate platform and basin residuals). This ‘barrier’ appears to be located in the area bounded by the fault segments activated during the first (0 s) and the second (18 s) rupture episodes of the 1980s Irpinia earthquake. We hypothesize that this geometrical barrier could have played a key role during the 1980 Irpinia event, and possibly controlled the delayed times of activation of the two rupture segments.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 2:08:09 PM
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Grazia de Landro, Ortensia Amoroso, Tony Alfredo Stabile, Emanuela Matrullo, Anthony Lomax, et al.. High-precision differential earthquake location in 3-D models : evidence for a rheological barrier controlling the microseismicity at the Irpinia fault zone in southern Apennines. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015, 203 (3), pp.1821-1831. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggv397⟩. ⟨ineris-01852988⟩

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