Relationship Between Depth of Seismicity and Heat Flow: The Case of the Gargano Area (Italy)

  • Marilena FilippucciEmail author
  • Andrea Tallarico
  • Michele Dragoni
  • Salvatore de Lorenzo


We consider a thermo-rheological model made of a viscoelastic half-space with Maxwell rheology and temperature-dependent viscosity. The half-space is made of layers with different values of density, thermal conductivity, activation energy and heat productivity. The model relates the surface heat flow to the depth of the brittle-ductile transition and the thickness of the seismogenic layer. The model is applied to the Gargano area (Italy) which is subject to a frequent low-magnitude seismic activity, although it lies out of the Apennine axis, which is the main Italian seismogenic area. The seismic activity in the Gargano area and surroundings occurs at depths that are systematically different in the north-eastern zone with respect to the south-western zone. In correspondence with the change in depth of earthquake foci, we observe a change in the value of surface heat flow. Starting from these observations and from the knowledge of the lithospheric structure, we propose two different geotherms for the two zones. Assuming a constant strain rate, the shear stress is computed as a function of depth and the thickness of the seismogenic layer in the two zones is inferred. The comparison of the results of the thermo-rheological model with the seismological observation is good.


Geothermal profile seismogenic layer brittle-ductile transition 



This work is supported by the “Intervento cofinanziato dal Fondo di Sviluppo e Coesione 2007-2013 APQ Ricerca Regione Puglia: Programma regionale a sostegno della specializzazione intelligente e della sostenibilit? sociale ed ambientale - FutureInResearch. This paper is a theoretical work and does not contain new data.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e GeoambientaliUniversità di Bari - Aldo MoroBariItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Fisica e AstronomiaUniversità di Bologna - Alma Mater StudiorumBolognaItaly

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