Paleoseismology of silent faults in the Central Apennines (Italy): the Mt. Vettore and Laga Mts. Faults

F. Galadini, P. Galli


Paleoseismological analyses have been performed in the Central Apennines along faults showing geomorphological
evidence of Late Quaternary activity and characterised by the absence of historical seismicity. Three
trenches were made along the Mt. Vettore Fault, across a scarp on a Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial fan. The
youngest displacement event (E1) occurred after 4155-3965 years BP and before the 6th-7th century A.D., a previous
event (E2) occurred between 5940-5890/5795-5780 years BP and 4155-3965 years BP, while the oldest
event (E3) occurred between 18.000-12.000 years BP and 5940-5890/5795-5780 years BP. One trench was excavated
across the Laga Mts. Fault which gave evidence for two displacement events after 8320-8150 years BP.
The minimum vertical slip rate estimated through the paleoseismological analysis of the Mt. Vettore Fault is
0.11-0.36 mm/yr, while the minimum slip rate along the Laga Mts. Fault is 0.12 mm/yr. The paleoseismologically
inferred recurrence interval is not longer than 4690 years for the Mt. Vettore Fault and not longer than 7570
years for the Laga Mts. Fault, while the minimum elapsed times since the last activation are 1300 and 800 years
for the two faults, respectively. The evaluation of the former elapsed time was based on paleoseismological data,
while the estimation of the latter was based on the absence of historical earthquakes which may have been caused
by the Laga Mts. Fault and on the completeness of the historical catalogues for the large magnitude events
in the last eight centuries. Based on the length of the fault at the surface, earthquakes with M 6.5 and 6.6 may
be expected from the activation of the Mt. Vettore and Laga Mts. faults, respectively.


paleoseismology;active fault;Holocene;Central Italy

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