Static stress transfer from the May 20, 2012, M 6.1 Emilia-Romagna (northern Italy) earthquake using a co-seismic slip distribution model

Athanassios Ganas, Zafeiria Roumelioti, Konstantinos Chousianitis


We model the static stress transfer for the May 2012 northern Italy earthquakes, assuming that failure of the crust occurs by shear. This allows the mechanics of the process to be approximated by the Okada (1992) expressions for displacement and strain fields due to a finite rectangular source in an elastic, homogeneous and isotropic half-space. The slip model of the May 20, 2012, earthquake was derived using empirical Green’s functions and a least-squares inversion scheme of source time functions computed from regional broadband seismological data. The derived model is then incorporated into the computation of Coulomb stress change (ΔCFF) to investigate the possibility that the May 20, 2012, M 6.1 event triggered the second earthquake that occurred on May 29, 2012 (M 5.9). We calculate the Coulomb stress changes for both: (a) optimally oriented planes to regional compression; and (b) planes of fixed orientation assuming that E-W striking, south-dipping thrust faults of the May 29, 2012, type of rupture was a candidate for failure. In both cases, we find that the triggering is promoted as the ΔCFF values in the hypocentral area of the May 29, 2012, earthquake are positive (between 0.61-0.74 bar).



Stress Transfer; Slip distribution; Italy

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