Seven missing damaging earthquakes in Upper Valtiberina (Central Italy) in 16th-18th century: research strategies and historical sources

D. Mariotti, E. Guidoboni


The Italian earthquake catalogue is considered to be fairly complete starting from the 17th century and for classes
of earthquakes of magnitude greater than 5.5. However, dedicated historical research has highlighted the fact that
even in areas believed to be well-recognised from the seismological standpoint, authoritative traces of local earthquakes
that have caused damage may also emerge. In this study, we present the results of a pilot study performed
for the Upper Valtiberina within the framework of the INGV research programmes in the years 1999-2001, expanded
and revised in 2005. The study highlighted seven local medium intensity earthquakes, which nonetheless caused
damage to buildings. Besides the results, which as a whole have allowed us to classify 18 effects in 6 sites, the research
method adopted is also presented. It is a method applicable to other cases as well, where the chronological
earthquake indicators are unknown, being capable of unearthing earthquakes unknown to the tradition of seismological
studies and the catalogues in use. A selection of the manuscript sources used is presented in the Appendix.


missing earthquakes;historical seismology;Italian earthquake catalogues;Upper Valtiberina

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