UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Claudia Sgambato

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

Active faults’ location and their deformation rates are fundamental factors for the estimation of seismic hazard, as they define the location and incidence of future earthquakes. Observations on the long-term deformation rates are needed to define earthquake recurrence intervals, however measurements of the fault slip-rates are affected by the natural variability of fault parameters, such as orientation, length and dip. 

This project aims to better understand the role of fault geometry in the control of seismic hazard associated with the extensional fault systems, such as those characterising the Southern and Central Italian Apennines, and the Calabrian Arc. By collecting fault geometry and slip-rate data, this work will help to better define the differences in earthquake recurrence intervals that characterise the fault systems in the studied regions. Moreover, calculations of the Coulomb stress changes will be used to investigate fault interaction and earthquake triggering. 

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


Sgambato, C., Faure Walker, J.P., Mildon, Z.K. et al. Stress loading history of earthquake faults influenced by fault/shear zone geometry and Coulomb pre-stress. Sci Rep 10, 12724 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69681-w

Sgambato, C., Walker, J.P.F. and Roberts, G.P., 2020. Uncertainty in strain-rate from fieldmeasurements of the geometry, rates and kinematics of active normal faults: Implicationsfor seismic hazard assessment. Journal of Structural Geology, 131, p.103934. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2019.103934