Space-time variations of the Umbria-Marche region instrumental seismicity

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A. Megna
S. Barba
S. Santini
F. Vetrano


In the Umbria-Marche region, space and time variations concerning the b value were studied by instrumental seismicity from January 1987 to May 1999, according to the Bender method. Data were divided into two partially independent data sets. The first set, (January 1987 - December 1996), does not include the Colfiorito seismic sequence that occurred in the autumn of 1997. The second data set includes all events from January 1987 to May 1999. Using square cell dimensions of 80, 40 and 20 km, the examined area was divided respectively into three grids. The b value was estimated for each cell using the first data set, thus allowing us to reveal b value space variations and determine the resolution. To evaluate the stability of our result we estimated the b value on the basis of historical seismicity within the region. Several synthetic tests were also performed to estimate the stability of the Bender method and to verify its consistency with respect to other methods commonly used. Finally we estimated the b values using the second data set to prove the time variations. Results from the area examined show that the lowest possible spatial resolution of the b value is about 40 km and that there is a correlation between the b value pattern and the main active tectonic structures of the area. The most important time variations occur within the Colfiorito area, in which the b value drops significantly within the second data set. Results suggest two different ways of strain release: the first one produces continuous seismicity that spreads all over the examined area, while the second, which concerns stronger earthquakes, is localized.

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Megna, A., Barba, S., Santini, S. and Vetrano, F. (2000) “Space-time variations of the Umbria-Marche region instrumental seismicity”, Annals of Geophysics, 43(5). doi: 10.4401/ag-3675.

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