Earthquake effects and insights on fault activity at the Beatrice Cenci cave (Abruzzo, Central Apennines)

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Laura Leonilde Alfonsi
Francesca Romana Cinti


he focus of this study is the analysis of a cave in Central Italy, the Beatrice Cenci cave, in order to point out and constrain evidence of possible past earthquakes and of fault activity in the area. We performed a survey of seismic related damages within the cave. This included the analysis of broken/collapsed speleothems, the recognition of structural collapse, of tilting/growth alteration in the speleothems, and the mapping of fractures, joints and/or faults. To timely set the occurrence of the recognized damage, organic sediments were dated with 14C radiocarbon method. The results merged toward the recognition of two distinct seismic shaking events affecting the cave environment, one older than 30 kyr and another around 7 kyr. The deformation observed within the cave led us to the hypothesis that the events of damage were possibly linked to the activity of the regional tectonic lineament that crosses the cave, i.e., the Liri normal fault. The morphology and the evolution of the cave appear controlled by the fault zone. These speleoseismological results provided a new contribution on the knowledge of the past activity of the Liri fault and on the earthquake history of this sector of Central Apennines.

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How to Cite
Alfonsi, L. L. and Cinti, F. R. (2021) “Earthquake effects and insights on fault activity at the Beatrice Cenci cave (Abruzzo, Central Apennines)”, Annals of Geophysics, 64(4), p. SE435. doi: 10.4401/ag-8571.
Geodynamics and Tectonophysics
Author Biographies

Laura Leonilde Alfonsi, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia

Ambiente, Roma2, Senior researcher

Francesca Romana Cinti, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia

Terremoti, Roma1, researcher

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