Abstract

In this paper we present the results of geological studies aimed at better constraining the recent tectonic activity in an area of the Sannio region, located along the axis of the Southern Apennines of Italy. The study area has repeatedly been affected by several historical destructive earthquakes whose genesis is still matter of debate. A multidisciplinary study was carried out in order to document evidence for recent surface activity of a NW-SE trending normal fault system, known in the literature as «Calore River Fault System». This fault system seems to have an essential role in the genesis of important historical earthquakes, such as the 1688 event. Structural analyses outline a stress field characterized by a mean NE-SW oriented extension, in accordance with breakout data and the recent seismicity, as well as published geological and geomorphological data. Geomorphological analyses, in particular the analysis of longitudinal profiles of fluvial terraces, reveal a clear tilting of the Calore River Valley terraces. Our results support the concept of the «Calore River Fault System» as an active normal fault system that plays a key-role in recent tectonic activity of the area.

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