Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Seismotomographic detection of major structural discontinuity in northern Sicily

Cristina Totaro, Ekaterina Kukarina, Ivan Koulakov, Giancarlo Neri, Barbara Orecchio and Debora Presti
Seismotomographic detection of major structural discontinuity in northern Sicily
Italian Journal of Geosciences (October 2017) 136 (3): 389-398


We present the results of tomographic inversion computed with the use of the LOTOS code for Sicily and surroundings, a region of great geodynamic interest located on the Nubia-Europe margin where previous analyses have progressively improved the knowledge of seismic velocity structure without, however, permitting fine detection of tectonic units and structural discontinuities. We used LOTOS's devices for inversion, grid rotation and adaptation to ray density for application to a dataset of 7105 local earthquakes of the period 1990-2012. Our tomographic model highlights a previously undocumented major discontinuity which is located approximately along the northern coast of Sicily and is characterized by a sudden transition from low velocity imbricate thrust sheets and accretionary wedge in mainland Sicily (to the south) to relatively high velocity Tyrrhenian continental crust (to the north). Combining this finding with available geological and geodynamic information, we conclude that this northern Sicily seismic velocity discontinuity, which approximately corresponds to a regional fault system known as Kumeta-Alcantara, may have played a major role in the Miocene to Middle Pliocene, when lithosphere tearing occurred between the Tyrrhenian sea and Sicily in response to trench retreat. The more recent geodynamic settings of northern Sicily and the southern Tyrrhenian can be unravelled from Quaternary geological observations, seismicity and GPS data, which indicate that (i) the northern Sicily discontinuity has ceased to be active in more recent times; and (ii) the reorganized slow convergence of Nubia with respect to Europe is currently accommodated approximately 100 km north of Sicily, along the east-trending seismogenic belt enclosing Ustica and the Aeolian Islands.

ISSN: 2038-1719
EISSN: 2038-1727
Serial Title: Italian Journal of Geosciences
Serial Volume: 136
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Seismotomographic detection of major structural discontinuity in northern Sicily
Affiliation: University of Messina, Departments of Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Physics, and Earth Sciences, Messina, Italy
Pages: 389-398
Published: 201710
Text Language: English
Publisher: Societa Geologica Italiana, Rome, Italy
Accession Number: 2017-084384
Categories: SeismologyStructural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
N37°40'00" - N38°19'60", E12°00'00" - E15°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, RUS, Russian FederationNovosibirsk State University, RUS, Russian Federation
Country of Publication: Italy
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Societa Geologica Italiana. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201744
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal