Special Issue "Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Structural Geology and Tectonics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 9751

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ioannis Koukouvelas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geology Department, University of Patras, Panepistimioupoli Patron, 265 04 Patra, Greece
Interests: earthquake geology—paleoseismology; geology of Greece; hazard analysis and secondary effects of earthquakes; quantitative monitoring of post-earthquake landslides with the use of UAVs
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Caputo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, 44122 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: structural geology; earthquake geology; seismotectonics; morphotectonics; palaeoseismology
Dr. Tejpal Singh
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Sector 30C, 160030 Chandigarh, India
Interests: seismotectonics; active tectonics; tectonic geomorphology; geological processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research on active faults has developed in parallel with the evolution of modern geosciences. Therefore, beyond any doubt, it is now considered that earthquakes on active faults are recursive natural hazards. Their recurrence, in general, is measured in hundreds to thousands of years, which is far beyond and reasonably complete historical record. The seismotectonic characterization of an area and the understanding of maximum expected earthquake magnitude on each fault is the result of the active fault research. In addition, the complexity of the geology and the tectonic geomorphology of the faults is also significant. Although analytical methods—such as palaeoseismology, InSAR and remotely sensed data collectionm, and probability analysis of earthquake recurrence—have considerably improved, a few crucial questions remain: Is earthquake geology close to a limit? Where can the new progress come from?

In this Special Issue, we welcome review papers or case studies highlighting the procedure of selection of the best methods, to address parameters like geological complexity, maximum expected earthquake magnitude and their recurrence interval. Special focus will be also on the mathematics that can provide us with the best magnitude estimation based on the earthquake geology of active faults and the more realistic recurrence interval. In addition, we welcome papers on low slip-rate to extremely high slip-rate active faults on the topics such as developments/improvements in palaeoseismology, archeaoseismology, and modelling earthquake ages.

Prof. Dr. Ioannis Koukouvelas
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Caputo
Dr. Tejpal Singh
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Earthquake Geology
  • Tectonic geomorphology
  • Palaeoseismology
  • Morphometric analyses
  • LiDAR and UAV for mapping active faults
  • Archaeoseismology
  • Modelling earthquake ages

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Structural Complexity and Seismogenesis: The Role of the Transpressive Structures in the 1976 Friuli Earthquakes (Eastern Southern Alps, NE Italy)
Geosciences 2022, 12(6), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12060227 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 425
Abstract
We reconstructed the seismotectonic setting of the area comprising the northeastern Friuli Plain and the Julian pre-Alpine border (NE Italy) by integrating geological and seismological data. The study area represents the junction between the SSE-verging polyphase thrust-front of the south-Alpine Chain and the [...] Read more.
We reconstructed the seismotectonic setting of the area comprising the northeastern Friuli Plain and the Julian pre-Alpine border (NE Italy) by integrating geological and seismological data. The study area represents the junction between the SSE-verging polyphase thrust-front of the south-Alpine Chain and the NW–SE-trending strike-slip faults of the eastern Friuli–western Slovenia domain. Following a multidisciplinary approach, the 3D geometry of the Susans–Tricesimo thrust system was reconstructed through the elaboration of four geological cross sections derived from the interpretation of ENI industrial seismic lines. In a second step, the seismogenic volume of the central-eastern Friuli area was investigated through hypocentral distribution analysis: the seismic events of the latest 50 years (1976–1977 and 1978–2019 time intervals) were plotted on four NE-SW-oriented seriated sections together with the fault plane’s geometry. Through this procedure, we were able to investigate the relationship between the NW-SE-striking high-angle faults, which characterize the northern Julian pre-Alps, and the WSW-verging medium-angle reverse fronts located at the piedmont of the Friuli plain, which experienced NW-SE- to NNW-SSE-oriented compression starting at least from the Pliocene. In detail, we examined the involvement of these structures during the seismic sequences of May and September 1976, in terms of activation and/or interaction. The resulting seismotectonic model highlights the interplay between transpressive/strike-slip and reverse planes. In particular, this study suggests that Predjama and Maniaglia transpressive faults strongly control the stress release and likely played a fundamental role both during the 6 May (Mw 6.5) and 15 September (Mw 6.0) Friuli earthquakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
The Arkalochori Mw = 5.9 Earthquake of 27 September 2021 Inside the Heraklion Basin: A Shallow, Blind Rupture Event Highlighting the Orthogonal Extension of Central Crete
Geosciences 2022, 12(6), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12060220 - 24 May 2022
Viewed by 610
Abstract
A strong, shallow earthquake occurred near Heraklion (Crete, Greece) on 27 September 2021. The earthquake produced significant ground deformation in the vicinity of Arkalochori village but without any evidence for surface ruptures of primary origin. We used geodetic (InSAR and GNSS) data to [...] Read more.
A strong, shallow earthquake occurred near Heraklion (Crete, Greece) on 27 September 2021. The earthquake produced significant ground deformation in the vicinity of Arkalochori village but without any evidence for surface ruptures of primary origin. We used geodetic (InSAR and GNSS) data to map motions of the Earth’s surface that occurred during and shortly after the earthquake. A 14 cm subsidence of the GNSS station ARKL and a maximum of 19 cm distance from the SAR satellite were recorded. The measured surface displacements were used to constrain the rupture geometry and slip distribution at depth. Our best-fitting inversion model suggests that the rupture occurred on a 13 km-long planar normal fault striking N195° E dipping 55° to the northwest, with major slip occurring to the east and updip of the hypocentre. The fault tip is located 1.2 km beneath the surface. The maximum coseismic slip occurred in the uppermost crust, in the depth interval of 4–6 km. A decrease in the fault offsets toward the Earth’s surface is likely caused by an increased frictional resistance of the shallow layers to rapid coseismic slip. Satellite observations made in the first month after the earthquake detected no post-seismic deformation (i.e., below one fringe or 2.8 cm). The seismic fault may be identified with the Avli (Lagouta) segment of the NNE-SSW striking, west-dipping, 23 km-long neotectonic Kastelli Fault Zone (KFZ). Part of the rupture occurred along the Kastelli segment, indicating a fault segment linkage and a history of overlapping ruptures along KFZ. Based on geological data and footwall topography we estimate an average slip rate between 0.17–0.26 mm/yr for the KFZ. The Arkalochori earthquake is a paradigm example for the on-going extension of Heraklion basin (central Crete) in the WNW-ESE direction, which is almost orthogonal to the E-W Messara graben and other active faults along the south coast of Crete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
The Evolution of Preseismic Patterns Related to the Central Crete (Mw6.0) Strong Earthquake on 27 September 2021 Revealed by Multiresolution Wavelets and Natural Time Analysis
Geosciences 2022, 12(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12010033 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
On 27 September 2021, a shallow earthquake with focal depth of 10 km and moment magnitude Mw6.0 occurred onshore in central Crete (Greece). The evolution of possible preseismic patterns in the area of central Crete before the Mw6.0 event [...] Read more.
On 27 September 2021, a shallow earthquake with focal depth of 10 km and moment magnitude Mw6.0 occurred onshore in central Crete (Greece). The evolution of possible preseismic patterns in the area of central Crete before the Mw6.0 event was investigated by applying the method of multiresolution wavelet analysis (MRWA), along with that of natural time (NT). The monitoring of preseismic patterns by critical parameters defined by NT analysis, integrated with the results of MRWA as the initiation point for the NT analysis, forms a promising framework that may lead to new universal principles that describe the evolution patterns before strong earthquakes. Initially, we apply MRWA to the interevent time series of the successive regional earthquakes in order to investigate the approach of the regional seismicity towards critical stages and to define the starting point of the natural time domain. Then, using the results of MRWA, we apply the NT analysis, showing that the regional seismicity approached criticality for a prolonged period of ~40 days before the occurrence of the Mw6.0 earthquake, when the κ1 natural time parameter reached the critical value of κ1 = 0.070, as suggested by the NT method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
Geomorphological Analysis of Xilokastro Fault, Central Gulf of Corinth, Greece
Geosciences 2021, 11(12), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11120516 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
The Gulf of Corinth is a rapidly opening area with high seismicity associated with extensive building collapses, destruction of cities, and even the deaths of inhabitants. Rapid residential development, especially in the southern part of the Gulf of Corinth, and the construction of [...] Read more.
The Gulf of Corinth is a rapidly opening area with high seismicity associated with extensive building collapses, destruction of cities, and even the deaths of inhabitants. Rapid residential development, especially in the southern part of the Gulf of Corinth, and the construction of crucial technical infrastructures necessitate understanding the activity across crustal-scale faults that host devastating earthquakes. The evolution of landforms affected by fault action is a dominant issue in geological science. In the present study, was selected the 20 km long Xilokastro pure normal fault. In this fault, we apply eight geomorphological indices in footwall catchments that drain perpendicular to its trace. In total, more than 5000 measurements were made in 102 catchments. The determination of geomorphological indices requires the construction of morphological profiles either perpendicular to the faults or perpendicular to the main tributaries of the drainage basins under consideration through the use of the geographical information systems (ArcGIS platform). Τhe application of these indices along catchments draining the Xilokastro fault scarp show high active tectonics. Its high activity is evidenced by the high values of the length-slope index near the fault trace, the low values of the width to height ratio index, the strong asymmetry of the drainage basins, especially in the overlapping zones between its segments, and the elongated shape of the drainage basins. This study supports the idea that the application of a single morphometric index is unable to reflect the distribution of active tectonics across faults, which makes inevitable the systematic comparison of a series of tectonic morphometric indices from which a new combined index emerges (Iat). The Iat classifies the Xilokastro fault in the high degree of activity at a rate of 75% of its length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
Recent Activity and Kinematics of the Bounding Faults of the Catanzaro Trough (Central Calabria, Italy): New Morphotectonic, Geodetic and Seismological Data
Geosciences 2021, 11(10), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11100405 - 26 Sep 2021
Viewed by 807
Abstract
A multidisciplinary work integrating structural, geodetic and seismological data was performed in the Catanzaro Trough (central Calabria, Italy) to define the seismotectonic setting of this area. The Catanzaro Trough is a structural depression transversal to the Calabrian Arc, lying in-between two longitudinal grabens: [...] Read more.
A multidisciplinary work integrating structural, geodetic and seismological data was performed in the Catanzaro Trough (central Calabria, Italy) to define the seismotectonic setting of this area. The Catanzaro Trough is a structural depression transversal to the Calabrian Arc, lying in-between two longitudinal grabens: the Crati Basin to the north and the Mesima Basin to the south. The investigated area experienced some of the strongest historical earthquakes of Italy, whose seismogenic sources are still not well defined. We investigated and mapped the major WSW–ENE to WNW–ESE trending normal-oblique Lamezia-Catanzaro Fault System, bounding to the north the Catanzaro Trough. Morphotectonic data reveal that some fault segments have recently been reactivated since they have displaced upper Pleistocene deposits showing typical geomorphic features associated with active normal fault scarps such as triangular and trapezoidal facets, and displaced alluvial fans. The analysis of instrumental seismicity indicates that some clusters of earthquakes have nucleated on the Lamezia-Catanzaro Fault System. In addition, focal mechanisms indicate the prevalence of left-lateral kinematics on E–W roughly oriented fault plains. GPS data confirm that slow left-lateral motion occurs along this fault system. Minor north-dipping normal faults were also mapped in the southern side of the Catanzaro Trough. They show eroded fault scarps along which weak seismic activity and negligible geodetic motion occur. Our study highlights that the Catanzaro Trough is a poliphased Plio-Quaternary extensional basin developed early as a half-graben in the frame of the tear-faulting occurring at the northern edge of the subducting Ionian slab. In this context, the strike-slip motion contributes to the longitudinal segmentation of the Calabrian Arc. In addition, the high number of seismic events evidenced by the instrumental seismicity, the macroseismic intensity distribution of the historical earthquakes and the scaling laws relating to earthquakes and seismogenic faults support the hypothesis that the Lamezia-Catanzaro Fault System may have been responsible for the historical earthquakes since it is capable of triggering earthquakes with magnitude up to 6.9. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
Seismicity Patterns Prior to the Thessaly (Mw6.3) Strong Earthquake on 3 March 2021 in Terms of Multiresolution Wavelets and Natural Time Analysis
Geosciences 2021, 11(9), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11090379 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
On 3 March 2021, a strong, shallow earthquake of moment magnitude, Mw6.3, occurred in northern Thessaly (Central Greece). To investigate possible complex correlations in the evolution of seismicity in the broader area of Central Greece before the Mw6.3 event, [...] Read more.
On 3 March 2021, a strong, shallow earthquake of moment magnitude, Mw6.3, occurred in northern Thessaly (Central Greece). To investigate possible complex correlations in the evolution of seismicity in the broader area of Central Greece before the Mw6.3 event, we apply the methods of multiresolution wavelet analysis (MRWA) and natural time (NT) analysis. The description of seismicity evolution by critical parameters defined by NT analysis, integrated with the results of MRWA as the initiation point for the NT analysis, forms a new framework that may possibly lead to new universal principles that describe the generation processes of strong earthquakes. In the present work, we investigate this new framework in the seismicity prior to the Mw6.3 Thessaly earthquake. Initially, we apply MRWA to the interevent time series of the successive regional earthquakes in order to investigate the approach of the regional seismicity at critical stages and to define the starting point of the natural time domain. Then, we apply the NT analysis, showing that the regional seismicity approached criticality a few days before the occurrence of the Mw6.3 earthquake, when the κ1 natural time parameter reached the critical value of κ1 = 0.070. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
Geomorphological and Statistical Assessment of Tilt-Block Tectonics in the Garhwal Synform: Implications for the Active Tectonics, Garhwal Lesser Himalaya, India
Geosciences 2021, 11(8), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11080345 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
Active tectonics is manifested in geomorphological features such as drainage basins and drainage patterns. Geomorphic parameters asymmetry factor (AF) and transverse topography symmetry factor (T) is calculated for 94 third order basins of the Garhwal synform to decipher the tilt-block tectonics based on [...] Read more.
Active tectonics is manifested in geomorphological features such as drainage basins and drainage patterns. Geomorphic parameters asymmetry factor (AF) and transverse topography symmetry factor (T) is calculated for 94 third order basins of the Garhwal synform to decipher the tilt-block tectonics based on remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS) techniques. The quantitative analysis of the AF suggests that all the 94 basins are asymmetric and gentle to steeply tilted, indicating active tectonics and early and late stage of development, respectively. The mean vector magnitude (θv) of T suggests the migration of the basin stream towards the south in most basins (60%), suggesting a unidirectional tilting of the tectonic block. The χ2 test for statistical significance indicates that the θv is significant for southern and northern limb basins. The χ2 test affirms that the third order basin position on either side of the main channel of the river basin influences the tilt direction. The regional tectonics suggests migration of the Lansdowne klippe towards the south, as the majority of third order basins show southward tilt. The study provides a quick appraisal of tilting in the tectonic blocks of active margins, such as in the Himalayas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
The March 2021 Damasi Earthquake Sequence, Central Greece: Reactivation Evidence across the Westward Propagating Tyrnavos Graben
Geosciences 2021, 11(8), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11080328 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1265
Abstract
On 3 March 2021, a strong shallow earthquake affected northern Thessaly, Greece, with an epicenter close to Damasi village causing significant destruction of many stone houses. In this contribution, we provide fieldwork observations, satellite radar interferometry, mapping of the active faults exposed in [...] Read more.
On 3 March 2021, a strong shallow earthquake affected northern Thessaly, Greece, with an epicenter close to Damasi village causing significant destruction of many stone houses. In this contribution, we provide fieldwork observations, satellite radar interferometry, mapping of the active faults exposed in the epicentral area, liquefactions and coseismic surface ruptures, and preliminary geomorphological analyses of the epicentral area. The geomorphological analysis is based on air photographs, digital surface models analysis, Real-Time Kinematik (RTK) measurements with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, and data from UAV flight campaigns. Although the seismotectonic setting of the area is complex and there is an apparent mismatch between field and interferometric data, the results of our investigations suggest that at least three fault segments were reactivated by the major shocks of the March seismic sequence. These tectonic structureslikely represent the westward propagation of the Tyrnavos Graben, where newly formed and inherited low-angle faults interplay in a complex manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
Seismic and Geodetic Imaging (DInSAR) Investigation of the March 2021 Strong Earthquake Sequence in Thessaly, Central Greece
Geosciences 2021, 11(8), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11080311 - 25 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
Three strong earthquakes ruptured the northwest Thessaly area, Central Greece, on the 3, 4 and 12 March 2021. Since the area did not rupture by strong earthquakes in the instrumental period of seismicity, it is of great interest to understand the seismotectonics and [...] Read more.
Three strong earthquakes ruptured the northwest Thessaly area, Central Greece, on the 3, 4 and 12 March 2021. Since the area did not rupture by strong earthquakes in the instrumental period of seismicity, it is of great interest to understand the seismotectonics and source properties of these earthquakes. We combined relocated hypocenters, inversions of teleseismic P-waveforms and of InSAR data, and moment tensor solutions to produce three fault models. The first shock (Mw = 6.3) occurred in a fault segment of strike 314° and dip NE41°. It caused surface subsidence −40 cm and seismic slip 1.2–1.5 m at depth ~10 km. The second earthquake (Mw = 6.2) occurred to the NW on an antithetic subparallel fault segment (strike 123°, dip SW44°). Seismic slip of 1.2 m occurred at depth of ~7 km, while surface subsidence −10 cm was determined. Possibly the same fault was ruptured further to the NW on 12 March (Mw = 5.7, strike 112°, dip SSW42°) that caused ground subsidence −5 cm and seismic slip of 1.0 m at depth ~10 km. We concluded that three blind, unknown and unmapped so far normal fault segments were activated, the entire system of which forms a graben-like structure in the area of northwest Thessaly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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Article
The Use of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar for Isolating the Contribution of Major Shocks: The Case of the March 2021 Thessaly, Greece, Seismic Sequence
Geosciences 2021, 11(5), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11050191 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
We study the surface deformation following a moderate size M5+ earthquake sequence that occurred close to Tyrnavos village (Thessaly, Greece) in March 2021. We adopt the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique to exploit several pairs of Sentinel-1 acquisitions and successfully retrieve the [...] Read more.
We study the surface deformation following a moderate size M5+ earthquake sequence that occurred close to Tyrnavos village (Thessaly, Greece) in March 2021. We adopt the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique to exploit several pairs of Sentinel-1 acquisitions and successfully retrieve the ground movement caused by the three major events (M5+) of the sequence. The mainshocks occurred at depths varying from ~7 to ~10 km, and are related to the activation of at least three normal faults characterizing the area previously unknown. Thanks to the 6-day repeat time of the Sentinel-1 mission, InSAR analysis allowed us to detect both the surface displacement due to the individual analyzed earthquakes and the cumulative displacement caused by the entire seismic sequence. Especially in the case of a seismic sequence that occurs over a very short time span, it is quite uncommon to be able to separate the surface effects ascribable to the mainshock and the major aftershocks because the time frequency of radar satellite acquisitions often hamper the temporal separation of such events. In this work, we present the results obtained through the InSAR data analysis, and are able to isolate single seismic events that were part of the sequence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphogenic Faulting: Current Practices and Future Challenges)
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