Earthquake sources and seismic hazard in Southeastern Sicily

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M. S. Barbano
R. Rigano


A study of some earthquakes (M > 5.3) affecting Southeastern Sicily was performed to define their seismic sources and to estimate seismic hazard in the region. An analysis of historical reports allowed us to reassess intensities of the 1542, 1693, 1818, 1848 and 1990 earthquakes by using the new European Macroseismic Scale 98. The new intensity data were used to define parameters and the orientation of seismic sources. The sources obtained were compared with the ones computed using the MCS intensities retrieved from the Catalogue of Strong Italian Earthquakes. The adopted procedure gives results that are statistically significant, but both the epicentre location and source azimuth, in some cases, are strongly affected by the azimuthal gap in the intensity distribution. This is evident mainly for the 1693 January earthquakes. For these earthquakes the macroseismic data uncertainty gives significantly different solutions, and does not allow the events to be associated with known active faults. By handling the new estimated intensity data and using the site seismic histories, the seismic hazard for some localities was calculated. The highest probability of occurrence, for destructive events (I = 10), was obtained in the area between Catania, Lentini and Augusta, suggesting that the seismogenic sources are located near the Ionian coast.

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Barbano MS, Rigano R. Earthquake sources and seismic hazard in Southeastern Sicily. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2001Dec.25 [cited 2022Aug.8];44(4). Available from: