Aseismic deformation associated with an earthquake swarm in the northern Apennines (Italy)

A. Gualandi, C. Nichele, E. Serpelloni, L. Chiaraluce, L. Anderlini, D. Latorre, M. E. Belardinelli, J. P. Avouac

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Analyzing the displacement time series from continuous GPS (cGPS) with an Independent Component Analysis, we detect a transient deformation signal that correlates both in space and time with a seismic swarm activity (maximum Mw=3.69 ± 0.09) occurred in the hanging wall of the Altotiberina normal fault (Northern Apennines, Italy) in 2013–2014. The geodetic transient lasted ∼6 months and produced a NW-SE trending extension of ∼5.3 mm, consistent with the regional tectonic regime. The seismicity and the geodetic signal are consistent with slip on two splay faults in the Altotiberina fault (ATF) hanging wall. Comparing the seismic moment associated with the geodetic transient and the seismic events, we observe that seismicity accounts for only a fraction of the measured geodetic deformation. The combined seismic and aseismic slip decreased the Coulomb stress on the locked shallow portion of the ATF, while the transition region to the creeping section has been loaded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7706-7714
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 16 Aug 2017


  • Altotiberina fault (ATF)
  • Aseismic deformation
  • GPS
  • Independent Component Analysis (ICA)
  • Seismic swarm


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