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More than 25 years have passed since the definition of Active Tectonics as "tectonic movements that are expected to occur within a future time span of concern to society", formulated in a milestone book by the National Research Council on this topic (Studies in Geophysics, Active Tectonics, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 1986), and those words have still to be considered the most suitable and exhaustive way to explain this branch of the Earth Sciences. Indeed only bridging together basic studies ("tectonic movements"), rates of occurrence ("time span") and hazard assessment ("society") can we fully evaluate ongoing tectonic activity and its associated hazards. The broad Mediterranean Sea region is a paradigmatic area from this point of view, as on one hand this region displays in a relatively limited geographic extent a great variety of tectonic processes such as plate collision, subduction, volcanic activity, large-magnitude earthquakes, active folding and faulting, vertical uplift and/or subsidence. On the other hand, all the above mentioned tectonic processes can potentially affect a total population of about 450 million, mostly concentrated in fast-growing urban areas and/or close to industrial compounds and critical facilities often located nearby hazard sources. […]
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