Contemporary stress field in the area of the 2016 Amatrice seismic sequence (central Italy)

Maria Teresa Mariucci, Paola Montone


We update the last present-day stress map for Italy relatively to the area of 2016 Amatrice seismic sequence (central Italy) taking into account a large number of earthquakes occurred from August 24 to October 3, 2016. In particular in this paper, we discuss the new stress data from crustal earthquake focal mechanisms selecting those with Magnitude ≥ 4.0; at the same time, we revise the borehole data, analyze the stratigraphic profiles and the relative sonic logs in 4 deep wells located close to the Amatrice sequence along the Apennine belt and toward east along the Adriatic foredeep. From these data we consider the P-wave velocity trend with depth and estimate rock density following an empirical relationship. Then we calculate the overburden stress magnitude for each well. The new present-day stress indicators confirm the presence of prevalent normal faulting regime and better define the local stress field in the area, highlighting a slight rotation from NE-SW to ENE-WSW of extension. The analysis evidences that the lithostatic gradient gradually changes from ~26 MPa/km in the belt to less than 23 MPa/km along the Adriatic foredeep. Finally, at a depth of 5 km we estimate the vertical stress magnitude varying from 130 MPa to 114 moving from the Apennine belt to the Adriatic foredeep. Although the wells are very close each other they show different P wave velocities from the belt to the foredeep with values ~7km/s and ~4 km/s at 5 km depth, respectively.


Stress; Borehole breakout; Focal mechanism

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