Journal Highlights

Scientists Create Catalog of Altotiberina Fault in Italy

Research Spotlight—

More than 37,000 small earthquakes paint a picture of the fault’s behavior and seismic potential.

The Apennine Mountains dominate the Italian peninsula, spanning 1,200 kilometers and reaching peaks as high as 2,912 meters. In the northern part of the range lies the Altotiberina fault, and in a recent study spanning 4.5 years, scientists from Italy’s Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) created a detailed catalog of the seismic activity in the region that is giving them the best look yet at the fault’s behavior and seismic potential.

The Altotiberina fault is a normal fault, meaning the two overlapping slabs of Earth’s crust are being pulled apart, with the hanging wall sliding down the face of the footwall. This movement can occur in either abrupt slips or gradual “creeping.” The Altotiberina fault is also categorized as low angle, meaning the angle formed by the fault line with the horizontal plane is small—about 15°–20° in this case. Often, the anatomy of faults like Altotiberina is dominated not by large occasional earthquakes but by consistent clusters of tiny ones, a concept known as microseismicity.

To get a more complete picture of what was going at the fault, Valoroso et al. used a dense network of seismic and geodetic sensors to record data on the crust’s movement in the region from 2010 to 2014 at depths between 4 and 16 kilometers....more

-- David Shultz, Freelance Writer,