Between June 2011 and September 2013, the Nebrodi Mountains region was affected by a seismic swarm consisting of >2700 events with local magnitude 1.3≤ML≤4.6 and located in the 5–9km depth interval. The seismic swarm defines a seismogenetic volume elongated along the E-W direction and encompasses the NW-SE-oriented tectonic boundary between the Calabrian arc (north-eastward) and the Sicilide units (south-westward). By exploring the recent tectonic deformation and the seismic behavior of the region, this study aims at providing additional constraints on the seismogenetic faults at the southern termination of the Calabrian arc. Waveform similarities analysis allowed observing that ~45% of the whole dataset can be grouped into six different families of seismic events. Earthquake multiplet families are mainly located in the eastern part of the seismogenetic volume. We suggest that such a feature is responsive to the lateral lithological variations as highlighted by geology (at the surface) and P-wave seismic tomography (at depth of 10km). Stress tensor inversions performed on FPSs indicate that the investigated region is currently subject to a nearly biaxial stress state in an extensional regime, such that crustal stretching occurs along both NW-SE and NE-SW directions. Accordingly, mesoscale fault geometries and kinematics analyses evidence that a younger normal faulting stress regime led to a tectonic negative inversion by replacing the pre-existing strike-slip one. Based on our results and findings reported in recent literature, we refer such a crustal stretching to mantle upwelling process (as evidenced by diffuse mantle-derived gas emissions) coupled with a tectonic uplift involving north-eastern Sicily since Middle Pleistocene. Moreover, seismic swarms striking the region would be related to the migration of mantle and sub-crustal fluids toward the surface along the complex network of tectonic structures cutting the crust and acting as pathways.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Jan 16, 2018
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