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Defining a model of 3D seismogenic sources for Seismic Hazard Assessment applications: The case of central Apennines (Italy)

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Abstract

Geology-based methods for Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) have been developing in Italy. These methods require information on the geometric, kinematic and energetic parameters of the major seismogenic faults. In this paper, we define a model of 3D seismogenic sources in the central Apennines of Italy. Our approach is mainly structural-seismotectonic: we integrate surface geology data (trace of active faults, i.e. 2D features) with seismicity and subsurface geological–geophysical data (3D approach). A fundamental step is to fix constraints on the thickness of the seismogenic layer and deep geometry of faults: we use constraints from the depth distribution of aftershock zones and background seismicity; we also use information on the structural style of the extensional deformation at crustal scale (mainly from seismic reflection data), as well as on the strength and behaviour (brittle versus plastic) of the crust by rheological profiling. Geological observations allow us to define a segmentation model consisting of major fault structures separated by first-order (kilometric scale) structural-geometric complexities considered as likely barriers to the propagation of major earthquake ruptures. Once defined the 3D fault features and the segmentation model, the step onward is the computation of the maximum magnitude of the expected earthquake (M max). We compare three different estimates of M max: (1) from association of past earthquakes to faults; (2) from 3D fault geometry and (3) from geometrical estimate ‘corrected’ by earthquake scaling laws. By integrating all the data, we define a model of seismogenic sources (seismogenic boxes), which can be directly used for regional-scale PSHA. Preliminary applications of PSHA indicate that the 3D approach may allow to hazard scenarios more realistic than those previously proposed.

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Boncio, P., Lavecchia, G. & Pace, B. Defining a model of 3D seismogenic sources for Seismic Hazard Assessment applications: The case of central Apennines (Italy). Journal of Seismology 8, 407–425 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOSE.0000038449.78801.05

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