Journal of Seismology

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 287–306 | Cite as

The investigation of potential earthquake sources in peninsular Italy: A review

  • Gianluca Valensise
  • Daniela Pantosti


We summarise and discuss almost a century of progress inthe understanding of the main characteristics of large Italian earthquakes.Topics of discussion include (1) the distribution of the largest earthquakesin relation with Late Pleistocene and Holocene faulting, (2) the geologicaland tectonic setting of the 1908 Messina Straits, 1915 Fucino Plain and1980 Irpinia earthquakes, (3) some of the geodynamic motivations for thecharacteristics of Italian seismicity, and (4) the resulting implications for theassessment of seismic hazard. In a subsequent section of the paper we present a summaryof recent achievements in the understanding and characterization of Italianseismicity, with special emphasis on the assignment of large historicalearthquakes to specific sources identified through geological observationsand on the evaluation of average recurrence intervals for individualearthquake sources. The final section describes some of the efforts being madefor matching the newly acquired geological evidence with instrumental andhistorical observations of Italian seismicity and the hypotheses than can bederived for anticipating the locus of large earthquakes of the future.


Holocene Pleistocene Structural Geology Seismic Hazard Large Earthquake 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianluca Valensise
    • 1
  • Daniela Pantosti
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di GeofisicaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaRomeItaly

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