The interseismic velocity field of the central Apennines from a dense GPS network

Alessandro Galvani, Marco Anzidei, Roberto Devoti, Alessandra Esposito, Grazia Pietrantonio, Anna Rita Pisani, Federica Riguzzi, Enrico Serpelloni


Since 1999, we have repeatedly surveyed the central Apennines through a dense survey-style geodetic network, the Central Apennines Geodetic Network (CAGeoNet). CAGeoNet consists of 123 benchmarks distributed over an area of ca. 180 km × 130 km, from the Tyrrhenian coast to the Adriatic coast, with an average inter-site distance of 3 km to 5 km. The network is positioned across the main seismogenic structures of the region that are capable of generating destructive earthquakes. Here, we show the horizontal GPS velocity field of both CAGeoNet and continuous GPS stations in this region, as estimated from the position–time series in the time span from 1999 to 2007. We analyzed the data using both the Bernese and GAMIT software, rigorously combining the two solutions to obtain a validated result. Then, we analyzed the strain-rate field, which shows a region of extension along the axis of the Apennine chain, with values from 2 × 10–9 yr–1 to 66·× 10–9 yr–1, and a relative minimum of ca. 20 × 10–9 yr–1 located in the L'Aquila basin area. Our velocity field represents an improved estimation of the ongoing elastic interseismic deformation of the central Apennines, and in particular relating to the area of the L'Aquila earthquake of April 6, 2009.


Central Apennines, GPS velocity field, Solutions combination, GPS surveys

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