Quick regional centroid moment tensor solutions for the Emilia 2012 (northern Italy) seismic sequence

Silvia Pondrelli, Simone Salimbeni, Paolo Perfetti, Peter Danecek


In May 2012, a seismic sequence struck the Emilia region (northern Italy). The mainshock, of Ml 5.9, occurred on May 20, 2012, at 02:03 UTC. This was preceded by a smaller Ml 4.1 foreshock some hours before (23:13 UTC on May 19, 2012) and followed by more than 2,500 earthquakes in the magnitude range from Ml 0.7 to 5.2. In addition, on May 29, 2012, three further strong earthquakes occurred, all with magnitude Ml ≥5.2: a Ml 5.8 earthquake in the morning (07:00 UTC), followed by two events within just 5 min of each other, one at 10:55 UTC (Ml 5.3) and the second at 11:00 UTC (Ml 5.2). For all of the Ml ≥4.0 earthquakes in Italy and for all of the Ml ≥4.5 in the Mediterranean area, an automatic procedure for the computation of a regional centroid moment tensor (RCMT) is triggered by an email alert. Within 1 h of the event, a manually revised quick RCMT (QRCMT) can be published on the website if the solution is considered stable. In particular, for the Emilia seismic sequence, 13 QRCMTs were determined and for three of them, those with M >5.5, the automatically computed QRCMTs fitted the criteria for publication without manual revision. Using this seismic sequence as a test, we can then identify the magnitude threshold for automatic publication of our QRCMTs.


Earthquake source; Seismic moment tensor; Wave analysis; Data processing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4401/ag-6146


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