Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract During the 1983 seismic crisis in the Phlegraean Fields bradyseismic region (southern Italy), a structural analysis of the area was carried out. With a detailed field survey based on a net of 34 measure stations, a total of 536 fractures (mainly joints and a few normal faults) were measured on a 10 × 10 km area in volcanites capable of memorizing post depositional stress activity by fracturing. The analysis of the collected data was performed with the data bank of the University of Rome computer facilities. The azimuthal analysis of total fractures showed a nonrandom distribution with 5 major sets: N13°E, N45°E, N14°W, N55°W and E-W. These preferential orientations have been detected with an automatic fitting of gaussian curves (bell curves) on the azimuthal histograms. The areal distribution showed that all these fracture sets are in general present in the main collapse area. An azimuthal analysis performed by selecting the data collected for rocks older than 4,600 y BP showed a possible youngest age for the N14°W set (domain) (E-W extension). Fractures with an «opening» wider than 1 cm presented the same 5 azimuthal sets and fit fairly well with a concentric distribution around the main collapse area. The presence of an analogous radial pattern is not evident. A tentative interpretation model relates the superficial fracture sets to two possible causes: volcanic activity, including doming and collapsing, and propagation of active tensile deformations in the sedimentary basement due to regional stress trajectories.
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