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On the interpretation of slow ground deformation precursory to the 1976 Friuli earthquake

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During three years preceding the 1976 Friuli earthquake, a continuous southward ground tilt was recorded by a tiltmeter placed near Tolmezzo, 15 km north-west of the epicentre of the impending earthquake. The cumulative ground tilt amounted to as much as 3 minutes of arc. Since the tiltmeter was placed in the proximity of an active fault, such a tilt can be explained if the fault slipped aseismically on its shallower section during the same three year period. Aseismic slip on the fault might have been caused by the same mechanism which concentrated stress in the region and eventually produced the 1976 earthquake.

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Dragoni, M., Bonafede, M. & Boschi, E. On the interpretation of slow ground deformation precursory to the 1976 Friuli earthquake. PAGEOPH 122, 781–792 (1984).

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Key words

  • Precursory tilt
  • aseismic slip
  • thrust faulting