EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Decade-long monitoring of seismic velocity changes at the Irpinia Fault System (southern Italy)

Guido Russo1, Grazia De Landro1, Ortensia Amoroso2, Nicola D'Agostino3, Raffaella Esposito4, Antonio Emolo1, and Aldo Zollo
Guido Russo et al.
  • 1Dept. of Physics "E. Pancini", Univ. Federico II, Napoli, Italy
  • 2Dept. of Physics "E. Caianiello", Univ. of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Roma, Italy
  • 4formely at Dept. of Physics "E. Pancini", Univ. Federico II, Napoli, Italy

Repeated tomographic inversions in time (the so called 4D tomography) track physical properties and stress changes in the medium hosting fault systems by measuring changes in P and S seismic velocities. These changes may provide insights on fault system dynamics and earthquake triggering mechanisms. We applied 4D tomography to the volume embedding the Irpinia Fault System (IFS, southern Italy) using more than ten years of continuous seismicity monitoring. The IFS is one of the Italian most hazardous fault systems, being able to generate the 1980 Ms 6.9 earthquake, characterized by a multi-segmented rupture. Seismicity was divided into uneven epochs having almost the same spatial resolution of the volume hosting the IFS.

The resulting images show time-invariant features, clearly related to crustal lithology, and time-changing (up to 20%) velocity anomalies in the central region. Vp, Vs and Vp/Vs anomalies are referred to the tomographic model obtained using all the data set, and occur at depths ranging between 1 and 5 km, and between 8 and 12 km. These anomalies are temporally well-correlated with groundwater recharge/discharge series and geodetic displacements during the same time intervals. This correlation provides evidence for the existence of pulsating pore pressure changes in a fractured crustal volume at depth of 8-12 km, saturated with a predominant gas phase (likely CO2) and correlated with groundwater recharge processes,  

We suggest that tomographic measurements of the Vp-to-Vs spatiotemporal changes are a suitable proxy to track the pore pressure evolution at depth in highly sensitive regions of fault systems.

How to cite: Russo, G., De Landro, G., Amoroso, O., D'Agostino, N., Esposito, R., Emolo, A., and Zollo, A.: Decade-long monitoring of seismic velocity changes at the Irpinia Fault System (southern Italy), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10564,, 2022.