• Radiocarbon Dating of Paleoseismicity Along an Earthquake Fault in Southern Italy

      Calderoni, Gilberto; Petrone, Vincenzo (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 1993-01-01)
      On 23 November 1980, a major earthquake (M3 = 6.9) struck a large area of the southern Apennines (Campania and Lucania regions, southern Italy). This seismic event, the largest in Italy over the last 80 years, almost completely destroyed 15 villages and caused extensive damage to other towns, including Naples. The quake produced the first well-documented example in Italy of surface dislocation, represented by a fault scarp 38 km long. We undertook a study that included 14C dating of organic materials from layers displaced by paleoseismic events to assess the seismologic hazard for the area. We collected peat and charred wood samples from the walls of two trenches excavated across the 1980 fault at Piano di Pecore di Colliano, Salerno, where the sedimentary suite is faulted and warped by five quakes (including that of 1980). This produced comparable vertical throw and deformation patterns. Chronological data for pre-1980 events, coupled with detailed stratigraphic analysis, yielded a dip-slip rate and a recurrence interval of 0.4 mm/yr and 1700 yr, respectively.