Understanding fault behavior in carbonates is critical because they represent loci of earthquake nucleation. Models of fault-slip mode generally assume: (1) seismic sliding and aseismic sliding occur in different fault patches, (2) creep is restricted to lithology-controlled weak domains, and (3) rate-weakening patches are interseismically locked. We studied three carbonate-hosted seismogenic normal faults in central Italy by combining (micro)structural and geochemical analyses of fault rocks integrated with new seismic coupling estimates. The (upper bound) seismic coupling was estimated to be ∼0.75, which indicates that at least 25% of the long-term deformation in the study area is released aseismically in the upper crust. Microscopy and electron-backscatter diffraction analyses revealed that whereas the localized principal slip zone records seismic slip (as ultracataclastic material, calcite crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO), and truncated clasts), the bulk fault rock below behaves differently. Cataclasites in massive limestones deform by cataclastic flow, pressure solution, and crystal plasticity, along with CPO development. Foliated tectonites in micritic limestones deform by pressure solution and frictional sliding, with CPO development. We suggest these mechanisms accommodate on-fault interseismic creep. This is consistent with experimental results reporting velocity- strengthening behavior at low slip rates. We present multiscale evidence of coexisting seismic and aseismic slip along the same fault in limestones during the seismic cycle. Our results imply that on-fault aseismic motion must be added to seismic slip to reconcile the long-term deformation rates and that creep is not exclusive to phyllosilicate-bearing units. Our work constitutes a step forward in understanding fault behavior and the seismic cycle in carbonates, and it may profoundly impact future studies on seismogenic potential and earthquake hazard assessment.

Interseismic creep of carbonate-hosted seismogenic normal faults: Insights from central Italy / Del Sole, Leonardo; Mazzoli, Stefano; Carafa, Michele M.C.; Toffol, Giovanni; Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Giuli, Gabriele; Invernizzi, Chiara; Tondi, Emanuele. - In: GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN. - ISSN 0016-7606. - ELETTRONICO. - 136:3-4(2024), pp. 1605-1627. [10.1130/b36954.1]

Interseismic creep of carbonate-hosted seismogenic normal faults: Insights from central Italy

Del Sole, Leonardo
Primo
;
2024

Abstract

Understanding fault behavior in carbonates is critical because they represent loci of earthquake nucleation. Models of fault-slip mode generally assume: (1) seismic sliding and aseismic sliding occur in different fault patches, (2) creep is restricted to lithology-controlled weak domains, and (3) rate-weakening patches are interseismically locked. We studied three carbonate-hosted seismogenic normal faults in central Italy by combining (micro)structural and geochemical analyses of fault rocks integrated with new seismic coupling estimates. The (upper bound) seismic coupling was estimated to be ∼0.75, which indicates that at least 25% of the long-term deformation in the study area is released aseismically in the upper crust. Microscopy and electron-backscatter diffraction analyses revealed that whereas the localized principal slip zone records seismic slip (as ultracataclastic material, calcite crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO), and truncated clasts), the bulk fault rock below behaves differently. Cataclasites in massive limestones deform by cataclastic flow, pressure solution, and crystal plasticity, along with CPO development. Foliated tectonites in micritic limestones deform by pressure solution and frictional sliding, with CPO development. We suggest these mechanisms accommodate on-fault interseismic creep. This is consistent with experimental results reporting velocity- strengthening behavior at low slip rates. We present multiscale evidence of coexisting seismic and aseismic slip along the same fault in limestones during the seismic cycle. Our results imply that on-fault aseismic motion must be added to seismic slip to reconcile the long-term deformation rates and that creep is not exclusive to phyllosilicate-bearing units. Our work constitutes a step forward in understanding fault behavior and the seismic cycle in carbonates, and it may profoundly impact future studies on seismogenic potential and earthquake hazard assessment.
2024
Interseismic creep of carbonate-hosted seismogenic normal faults: Insights from central Italy / Del Sole, Leonardo; Mazzoli, Stefano; Carafa, Michele M.C.; Toffol, Giovanni; Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Giuli, Gabriele; Invernizzi, Chiara; Tondi, Emanuele. - In: GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA BULLETIN. - ISSN 0016-7606. - ELETTRONICO. - 136:3-4(2024), pp. 1605-1627. [10.1130/b36954.1]
Del Sole, Leonardo; Mazzoli, Stefano; Carafa, Michele M.C.; Toffol, Giovanni; Pennacchioni, Giorgio; Giuli, Gabriele; Invernizzi, Chiara; Tondi, Emanuele
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/964143
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