Geological evidence of pre-2012 seismic events, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Riccardo Caputo
Kyriaki Iordanidou
Luca Minarelli
Giorgos Papathanassiou
Maria Eliana Poli
Dimitra Rapti-Caputo
Sotiris Sboras
Marco Stefani
Adriano Zanferrari


In May 2012, two moderate (-to-strong) earthquakes that were associated with a noticeable aftershock sequence affected the eastern sector of the Po Plain, Italy, in correspondence with a buried portion of the Apennines thrust belt. The Provinces of Ferrara, Modena and Bologna (Emilia Romagna Region), Mantua (Lombardy Region), and Rovigo (Veneto Region) were affected to different extents. The first shock (Ml 5.9 according to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV; National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), and Mw 6.1 according to the US Geological Service) occurred on May 20, 2012, at 2:03 a.m. (GMT); this was the strongest of the sequence, and it was followed by several aftershocks (up to Ml 5.1). This first event produced secondary ground deformation effects, which were mainly associated with liquefaction phenomena that were spread across the broader epicentral region, and particularly in the western sector of the Ferrara Province [Papathanassiou et al. 2012, this volume]. A few weeks after the earthquake, a paleoseismological trench was excavated south of San Carlo village, where earthquake-induced effects were widely documented. This report presents the preliminary results of the paleoseismological investigation and documents the occurrence in the same area of paleo-events older than the May 2012 earthquakes. […]

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Caputo R, Iordanidou K, Minarelli L, Papathanassiou G, Poli ME, Rapti-Caputo D, Sboras S, Stefani M, Zanferrari A. Geological evidence of pre-2012 seismic events, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2012Oct.17 [cited 2022Aug.8];55(4). Available from:

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