pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 277–300 | Cite as

Possible creep-related tilt precursors obtained in the Central Apennines (Italy) and in the Southern Caucasus (Georgia)

  • F. Bella
  • P. F. Biagi
  • M. Caputo
  • G. Della Monica
  • A. Ermini
  • P. V. Manjgaladze
  • V. Sgrigna
  • D. O. Zilpimiani


Daily averaged tilt component data from two sites of the Central Apennines (Italy) and of the Southern Caucasus (Georgia), respectively, revealed intermediate-term tilts as possible precursors to earthquakes (M=3.0÷4.7) which occurred in the above-mentioned seismic areas within a distance of 50 km from the sites. A good temporal correlation as well as a fair spatial correspondence between these residual tilts (with amplitude and duration of some microradians and months, respectively) and main shocks were pointed out, by removing both secular trends and seasonal thermoelastic effects from the raw tilts. An attempt was made to justify the above-mentioned results, based on the assumption that the observed intermediate-term preseismic tilts are the manifestation of aseismic creep episodes of comparable duration in the fault materials of thrust faults close to the tilt sites. The mechanism refers to a strain field slowly propagating from the preparation focal area to the tilt site, through crustal blocks separated by weak transition zones. This propagation is thought to be the cause of the local aseismic fault slip recorded by the tiltmeters. Previously, both discrete structures and strain propagation effects were revealed in the Central Apennines and are thought also to exist in the Southern Caucasus. As in the past, the rheological properties of fault materials are revealed as viscoelastic ones. In fact, creep equations obtained by applying several viscoelastic models on our data, proved to fit quite well some of the observed tilt precursors, producing viscosity and rigidity values very similar to those reported in literature.

Key words

Fault creep ground tilt earthquake precursors 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Bella
    • 1
  • P. F. Biagi
    • 1
  • M. Caputo
    • 2
  • G. Della Monica
    • 1
  • A. Ermini
    • 1
  • P. V. Manjgaladze
    • 3
  • V. Sgrigna
    • 1
  • D. O. Zilpimiani
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaIII Università di RomaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Institute of GeophysicsGeorgian Academy of SciencesTbilisiGeorgia

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