UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Claudia Sgambato

Variations in fault parameters and seismic hazard in the Central and Southern Italian Apennines

Italy is one of the countries with the highest seismic hazard in the Mediterranean, with much of the seismicity concentrated in the central and southern areas, along the Apennines belt. Two of Europe's deadliest earthquakes of the last ten years occurred in Italy, resulting in hundreds of fatalities and widespread destruction.

For this reason, it is of primary importance to progress our knowledge of active faults location and behaviour, as it is these that define the geography and rate of seismic hazard.

The aim of this study is to better understand the role of fault geometry in the control of seismic hazard associated with the extensional fault systems characterising the Southern and Central Italian Apennines. By collecting fault geometry and slip-rate data, this project will help to better define the differences in earthquake recurrence intervals that characterise the different fault systems in the two studied regions. This will provide an insight into the understanding of the role of fault geometry, both of individual faults and fault arrays, for earthquake recurrence intervals. 

The research will contribute to the understanding of how seismic hazard is affected by variability in fault geometry, and thus provides an opportunity to improve calculations of seismic hazard used to inform society about earthquake risk.