Tomographic analysis of self-potential data in a seismic area of Southern Italy

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V. Lapenna
D. Patella
S. Piscitelli


The time and space anomalous behaviour of the Self-Potential (SP) field recorded in a seismic area of Southern Apennines, Italy, is discussed. The SP data were collected in the period June 1992-November 1994 along a profile located north of the town of Potenza in the Basilicata region, Italy. The profile is perpendicular to an active fault system, where a W-E directed strike-slip structure has been identified from recent earthquakes. The SP data are modelled using a new tomographic method based on the search for similarities between the observed SP sequence and the surface signature of the electric field due to a scanning point source with unitary positive charge. The point scanner is ideally moved in a vertical cross-section through the profile and a regular 2D matrix of charge occurrence probability values is thus obtained. These values are used to image the state of electric polarization in the subsoil, compatible with the observed SP surface pattern. A selection of 2D tomographies across the profile is then discussed in order to outline the SP source geometry and dynamics within the faulted structure. Finally, the time pattern of the SP polarization state is compared with the local seismicity in the frame of the rock dilatancy-fluid diffusion theory. This comparison allows us to exclude a direct relationship of the SP time behaviour with the seismic sequences which occurred in the area during the SP monitoring period.

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Lapenna, V., Patella, D. and Piscitelli, S. (2000) “Tomographic analysis of self-potential data in a seismic area of Southern Italy”, Annals of Geophysics, 43(2). doi: 10.4401/ag-3638.

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