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Orogen-scale uplift in the central Italian Apennines drives episodic behaviour of earthquake faults

Cowie, PA; Phillips, RJ; Roberts, GP; McCaffrey, K; Zijerveld, LJJ; Gregory, LC; Walker, JF; ... Wilkinson, M; + view all (2017) Orogen-scale uplift in the central Italian Apennines drives episodic behaviour of earthquake faults. Scientific Reports , 7 , Article 44858. 10.1038/srep44858. Green open access

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Abstract

Many areas of the Earth’s crust deform by distributed extensional faulting and complex fault interactions are often observed. Geodetic data generally indicate a simpler picture of continuum deformation over decades but relating this behaviour to earthquake occurrence over centuries, given numerous potentially active faults, remains a global problem in hazard assessment. We address this challenge for an array of seismogenic faults in the central Italian Apennines, where crustal extension and devastating earthquakes occur in response to regional surface uplift. We constrain fault slip-rates since ~18 ka using variations in cosmogenic 36Cl measured on bedrock scarps, mapped using LiDAR and ground penetrating radar, and compare these rates to those inferred from geodesy. The 36Cl data reveal that individual faults typically accumulate meters of displacement relatively rapidly over several thousand years, separated by similar length time intervals when slip-rates are much lower, and activity shifts between faults across strike. Our rates agree with continuum deformation rates when averaged over long spatial or temporal scales (104 yr; 102 km) but over shorter timescales most of the deformation may be accommodated by <30% of the across-strike fault array. We attribute the shifts in activity to temporal variations in the mechanical work of faulting.

Type: Article
Title: Orogen-scale uplift in the central Italian Apennines drives episodic behaviour of earthquake faults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/srep44858
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep44858
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Geochemistry; Geodynamics; Natural hazards
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1551688
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