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Seismic Hazard zonation with a multidisciplinary approach, using fluid-geochemistry methods


The main purpose of this project is to assess the effectiveness of the geochemistry to contribute to the Seismic Hazard Assessment (SHA) stressing the role of the so called Geochemical Seismic Zonation: the recognition of seismogenic fault zones spatial and temporal patterns by geochemical methods, i.e. fluid geochemistry.

The primary objetives of this research project are as follows: - to refine the Seismic Hazard Assessment (SHA) by fluid geochemistry modelling and monitoring in a few
selected test-sites in various EC countries, where the geostructural and seismotectonic settings are already well
known. In particular the research intends to assess a wide spectrum of geochemical parameters as tools for
tracing active faults;
- to better understand, considering the contribution of the geochemistry, the pre-seismic processes, seismic
sources and aseismic stress-strain phenomena linked to rising fluids and to self-sealing processes around the
critical-state fault core that finally involve seismicity, as well as to improve the basic knowledge of geochemical
earthquake prediction: the final goal of Earthquake Prediction, although far, remains challenging and ambitious.

The principal activities of the porject are as follows:
- to provide a multiparametric set of hydrogeological, physico-chemical, chemical (such as the decay series of
U-Th elements - He, Ra, Rn - as well as H2, H2S, CO2, CH4, NH3, SiO2, B, Li, Rb, Cs, Sr, Fe, Mn, F, Se,
Tl, Hg, As, Sb, etc.) and isotopic data (i.e. 3T, 18O, D, 13C, 34S, 220Rn/222Rn, 4He/40Ar, 3He/4He,
40Ar/36Ar, 87Sr/86Sr, 35Cl/37C) either in groundwater or in soils, as well as in a few rock samples. This data could
also be used in multivariable statistics and mineral equilibria codes and in the modelling of water - rock
interaction processes as well as heat-mass flow modelling within fault zones (self - sealing processes);
- to perform a multidisciplinary integration (GIS system data processing) of different data sets (structural
geology, gravimetry, seismology, etc.) with new geochemical data collected from a few selected critical areas
also aseismic (Sardinia, Torre del Greco, Gargano, Chalcidikiki Peninsula, Lesbos Island, Devonshire);
- to develop a Geochemical Monitoring System (GMS II) prototype that continuously monitors a few selected
variables in groundwaters (temperature, el. conductivity, pH, Eh, PCO2, He Rn, static level, etc.) aimed to
clarify the relationships between fluids temporal patterns and seismicity (earthquake prediction studies).

The following deliverables will be gathered during the course of the programme: multivariable geochemical
data-set processing, contour maps using geochemical variables in fluid phases and soil gases, time-series
geochemical tables and disk storage; technical specification and reports of the GMS II prototype; gravity maps;
geoelectrical profiles; photographic prints of satellite images; photo-interpretation maps of possible active faults;
cartographic GIS database and mapping for the various multidisciplinary data-sets; final interdisciplinary GIS
maps, Final Seismic Hazard Assessment by a multidisciplinary approach, involving geochemistry role

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


5,Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
00185 Roma

Participants (4)

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
University Campus
54006 Thessaloniki
Rue Notre Dame Des Pauvres 15
54501 Vandoeuvre-les-nancy
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica
Via Vigna Murata 605
00143 Roma
University of Exeter
United Kingdom
Laver Building North Park Road
EX4 4QE Exeter