A P-wave velocity model of the upper crust of the Sannio region (Southern Apennines, Italy)

G. Iannaccone, L. Improta, P. Capuano, A. Zollo, G. Biella, R. De Franco, A. Deschamps, M. Cocco, L. Mirabile, R. Romeo


This paper describes the results of a seismic refraction profile conducted in October 1992 in the Sannio region, Southern Italy, to obtain a detailed P-wave velocity model of the upper crust. The profile, 75 km long, extended parallel to the Apenninic chain in a region frequently damaged in historical time by strong earthquakes. Six shots were fired at five sites and recorded by a number of seismic stations ranging from 41 to 71 with a spacing of 1-2 km along the recording line. We used a two-dimensional raytracing technique to model travel times and amplitudes of first and second arrivals. The obtained P-wave velocity model has a shallow structure with strong lateral variations in the southern portion of the profile. Near surface sediments of the Tertiary age are characterized by seismic velocities in the 3.0-4.1 km/s range. In the northern part of the profile these deposits overlie a layer with a velocity of 4.8 km/s that has been interpreted as a Mesozoic sedimentary succession. A high velocity body, corresponding to the limestones of the Western Carbonate Platform with a velocity of 6 km/s, characterizes the southernmost part of the profile at shallow depths. At a depth of about 4 km the model becomes laterally homogeneous showing a continuous layer with a thickness in the 3-4 km range and a velocity of 6 km/s corresponding to the Meso-Cenozoic limestone succession of the Apulia Carbonate Platform. This platform appears to be layered, as indicated by an increase in seismic velocity from 6 to 6.7 km/s at depths in the 6-8 km range, that has been interpreted as a lithological transition from limestones to Triassic dolomites and anhydrites of the Burano formation. A lower P-wave velocity of about 5.0-5.5 km/s is hypothesized at the bottom of the Apulia Platform at depths ranging from 10 km down to 12.5 km; these low velocities could be related to Permo-Triassic siliciclastic deposits of the Verrucano sequence drilled at the bottom of the Apulia Platform in the Apulia Foreland.


southern Apennines;upper crustal structure;2D P-wavw velocity model

Full Text:



DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3803

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