Earthquake recurrence in central Italy
(17 September 2007)
A recent NERC award will allow a team from Edinburgh, Durham (Ken McCaffrey) and UCL to investigate variability in earthquake recurrence using a combination of fieldwork, cosmogenic dating and numerical modelling. Using Durham laser scanning and digital field mapping equipment and expertise, the team will produce high resolution models for a system of active faults in central Italy. The team will collect 36Cl profiles from newly-growing linking faults, and long-established active faults to establish spatial variability related to fault geometry. Rocks that become exposed at the Earth’s surface accumulate 36Cl through time due to interaction of cosmic particles with the rock minerals. Steps in exposure age profiles can reveal the timing of large earthquakes that offset the ground surface in the past. They will then compare field and numerical results, to constrain the underlying physics that determines the recurrence in each circumstance, calculate earthquake probabilities using the recurrence variability, and map seismic hazard and how it varies across the fault geometry, using the findings to assess seismic hazard worldwide.