The last strong earthquake that occurred in the southern Apennines, the Irpinia earthquake on 23 November 1980 (M 6.9), was characterized by a complex rupture mechanism that ruptured three different faults (Bernard and Zollo 1989). This earthquake was well studied, and the quantity of data available has allowed a very detailed definition of the geometry and mechanisms of faults activated during this seismic event (Westaway and Jackson 1987; Pantosti and Valensise 1990).

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Even more than 20 years after the main event, the seismotectonic environment that contains the fault system on which the 1980 earthquake...

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