Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Loreto M. F., Fracassi U., Franzo A., Del Negro P., Zgur F., Facchin L. Approaching the seismogenic source of the Calabria 8 September 1905 earthquake: New geophysical, geological and biochemical data from the S. Eufemia Gulf (S Italy). In: Marine Geology, vol. 343 pp. 62 - 75. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS, 2013.
Recognizing the seismogenic source of major historical earthquakes, particularly when these have occurred offshore, is a long-standing issue across the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere. The destructive earthquake (M similar to 7) that struck western Calabria (southern Italy) on the night of 8 September 1905 is one such case having various authors proposed a seismogenic source, with apparently diverse hypotheses and without achieving a unique solution. To gain novel insight into the crustal volume where the 1905 earthquake took place and to seek a more robust solution for the seismogenic source associated with this destructive event, we carried out a well-targeted multidisciplinary survey within the Gulf of S. Eufemia (SE Tyrrhenian Sea), collecting geophysical data, oceanographic measurements, and biological, chemical and sedimentary samples. We identified three main tectonic features affecting the sedimentary basin in the Gulf of S. Eufemia: 1) a NE-SW striking, ca. 13-km-long, normal fault, here named S. Eufemia Fault; 2) a WNW-striking polyphased fault system; and 3) a likely E-W trending lineament. Among these, the normal fault shows evidence of activity witnessed by the deformed recent sediments and by its seabed rupture along which, locally, fluid leakage occurs. Features in agreement with the anomalous distribution of prokaryotic abundance and biopolymeric C content, resulted from the shallow sediment analyses. The numerous seismogenic sources proposed in the literature during the past 15 yr make up a composite framework of this sector of western Calabria, that we tested against a) the geological evidence from the newly acquired dataset, and b) the regional seismotectonic models. Such assessment allows us to propose the NE-SW striking normal fault as the most probable candidate for the seismogenic source of the 1905 earthquake. Reappraising a major historical earthquake as the 1905 one enhances the seismotectonic picture of western Calabria. Further understanding of the region and better constraining the location of the seismogenic source may be attained through integrated interpretation of our data together with a) on-land field evidence, and b) seismological modeling. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2013.06.016
Subject seismogenic source; earthquake; seismotectonics; prokaryotes; Calabrian Arc

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