Teleseismic analysis of the 1990 and 1991 earthquakes near Potenza


Analysis of the available teleseismic data for two moderate earthquakes near the town of Potenza in the Southern Apennines shows that both involve strike-slip faulting on a plane oriented approximately east-west. Only the larger, 5 May 1990, earthquake is sufficiently large for analysis by conventional teleseismic waveform inversion methods, and is seen to consist of a foreshock followed 11 seconds later by the main release of moment. The focal mechanism and seismic moment of the 26 May 1991 earthquake is determined by quantitative comparison of its 15-60 s period surface waves with those generated by the 5 May 1990 event. The focal mechanisms for the two events are found to be very similar. The 1991 earthquake has a scalar moment that is approximately 18% that of the 1990 mainshock. Comparison of higher frequency P waves for the two events, recorded at regional distance, shows that the ratio of trace amplitudes is smaller than the ratio of scalar moments, suggesting that the stress drop for the 1991 event is distinctly smaller than for the 1990 mainshock.


earthquakes;Apennines;stress drop

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN:  2037-416X