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Open AccessArticle

Late Quaternary Tectonic Activity of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust, Friulian Plain, NE Italy

1
Department of Geosciences, Università degli Studi di Padova, 35122 Padova, Italy
2
Institute of Geological Sciences, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 07749 Jena, Germany
3
Institute for Geology, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
4
Institute of Neotectonics and Natural Hazards, RWTH Aachen University, 52064 Aachen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020084
Received: 9 January 2020 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 15 February 2020 / Published: 23 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Sequence in Mediterranean Region)
The NW-SE trending Udine-Buttrio Thrust is a partly blind fault that affects the Friulian plain southeast of Udine in NE Italy. It is part of a wider fault system that accommodates the northward motion of the Adriatic plate. Although seismic reflection data and morphological evidence show that the fault was active during the Quaternary, comparably little is known about its tectonic activity. We used high-resolution digital elevation models to investigate the surface expression of the fault. Measured vertical surface offsets show significant changes along strike with uplift rates varying between 0 and 0.5 mm/yr. We then analyze a topographic scarp near the village of Manzano in more detail. Field mapping and geophysical prospections (Georadar and Electrical Resistivity Tomography) were used to image the subsurface geometry of the fault. We found vertical offsets of 1–3 m in Natisone River terraces younger than 20 ka. The geophysical data allowed the identification of deformation of the fluvial sediments, supporting the idea that the topographic scarp is a tectonic feature and that the terraces have been uplifted systematically over time. Our findings fit the long-term behaviour of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust. We estimate a post-glacial vertical uplift rate of 0.08–0.17 mm/yr recorded by the offset terraces. Our results shed light on the Late Quaternary behaviour of this thrust fault in the complicated regional tectonic setting and inform about its hitherto overlooked possible seismic hazard. View Full-Text
Keywords: active tectonics; tectonic geomorphology; geophysics; Udine-Buttrio thrust; Adria; paleoseismology active tectonics; tectonic geomorphology; geophysics; Udine-Buttrio thrust; Adria; paleoseismology
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Viscolani, A.; Grützner, C.; Diercks, M.; Reicherter, K.; Ustaszewski, K. Late Quaternary Tectonic Activity of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust, Friulian Plain, NE Italy. Geosciences 2020, 10, 84.

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