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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 Jun 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Using Seismic Attributes in seismotectonic research: an application to the Norcia's Mw = 6.5 earthquake (30th October 2016) in Central Italy

Maurizio Ercoli1,4, Emanuele Forte2, Massimiliano Porreca1,4, Ramon Carbonell3, Cristina Pauselli1,4, Giorgio Minelli1,4, and Massimiliano R. Barchi1,4 Maurizio Ercoli et al.
  • 1Dip. di Fisica e Geologia –Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
  • 2Dept. of Mathematics and Geosciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
  • 3Dept. Structure & Dynamics of the Earth, CSIC-Inst. Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4Member of Interuniversity Center for Research on 3D-Seismotectonics (Centro InterRUniversitario per l'Analisi SismoTettonica tridimensionale con applicazioni territoriali – CRUST), Italy

Abstract. In seismotectonic studies, seismic reflection data are a powerful tool to unravel the complex deep architecture of active faults. Such tectonic structures are usually mapped at surface through traditional geological surveying whilst seismic reflection data may help to trace their continuation from the near-surface down to hypocentral depth. In this study, we propose the application of the seismic attributes technique, commonly used in seismic reflection exploration by oil industry, to seismotectonic research for the first time. The study area is a geologically complex region of Central Italy, recently struck by a long-lasting seismic sequence including a Mw 6.5 main-shock. A seismic reflection data-set consisting of three vintage seismic profiles, currently the only available across the epicentral zone, constitutes a singular opportunity to attempt a seismic attribute analysis. This analysis resulted in peculiar seismic signatures which generally correlate with the exposed surface geologic features, and also confirming the presence of other debated structures. These results are critical, because provide information also on the relatively deep structural setting, mapping a prominent, high amplitude regional reflector that marks the top basement, interpreted as important rheological boundary. Complex patterns of high-angle discontinuities crossing the reflectors have been also identified. These dipping fabrics are interpreted as the expression of fault zones, belonging to the active normal fault systems responsible for the seismicity of the region. This work demonstrates that seismic attribute analysis, even if used on low-quality vintage 2D data, may contribute to improve the subsurface geological interpretation of areas characterized by high seismic potential.

Maurizio Ercoli et al.
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Maurizio Ercoli et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We show how the seismotectonic research can benefit of additional information provided by the use of seismic attributes. This technique, even if applied on old seismic data, allowed a refined interpretation of the geologic features located in a seismogenic area in Central Italy. The seismic signatures of a regional seismogenic layers and of active normal faults have been considerably enhaced and linked to the surface position. We show how this approach gives a new value to vintage seismic lines.
We show how the seismotectonic research can benefit of additional information provided by the...