DOI: 10.1029/2023tc007798 ISSN:

Paleoseismological constraints on the Anghiari normal fault (Northern Apennines, Italy) and potential implications for the activity of the Altotiberina low‐angle normal fault

A. Testa, P. Boncio, S. Baize, F. Mirabella, S. Pucci, B. Pace, M. Riesner, C. Pauselli, M. Ercoli, L. Benedetti, A. Di Chiara, R. Civico
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


The NE‐dipping Anghiari normal fault (AF), bounding to the west the Sansepolcro basin in the Upper Tiber Valley (northern Apennines), is thought to be a synthetic splay of the Altotiberina (ATF) low‐angle normal fault (LANF), an active ENE‐dipping extensional detachment whose seismogenic behavior is debated.

In order to assess the Anghiari fault capability to break the surface during strong earthquakes and be the source of historical earthquakes, we acquired high resolution topographic data, performed field survey and geophysical investigations (Seismic reflection, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT)) and dug three paleoseismological trenches across different fault sections of the Anghiari fault. The acquired data reveal for the first time the Late Pleistocene to historical activity of the A nghiari fault, constraining the age of seven paleo‐earthquakes over the last 25 ka, the youngest of which is comparable with one of the poorly constrained historical earthquakes of the Sansepolcro basin. The yielded slip rate is > 0.2 mm/yr averaged over the last 25 ka and the recurrence interval is about 2500‐3200 years. An analysis of the anisotropy of the magnetic susceptibility performed in one of the paleoseismological trenches revealed an extensional stress field, continuously acting during the sedimentation of the entire trenched stratigraphy.

Our results confirm the ability of the Anghiari fault to slip in surface faulting earthquakes and if the Anghiari fault does sole at depth into the Altotiberina low‐angle normal fault, suggests that this LANF could also be seismogenic and generate M>6.

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