AlpArray Priority Programm (Schwerpunktprogramm)
Funding by German Research Foundation (DFG)

The convergence of the Africa and the Eurasia plates and the recent evolution of the western Mediterranean-Alpine area has built a puzzle of basins (such as the Ligurian Sea) and ranges. The Ligurian sea is a key location due to its complex geodynamic setting characterized by pronounced variations in crustal nature and thickness. The current seismicity rate is in the Ligurian Sea is modest with magnitude 4-4.5 events with an approximate period of 2-3 years. Despite the moderate seismicity level destructive earthquakes occurred in the region in historical times such as the Imperia earthquake 1897 in the centre of the basin (Mw 6.3-7.5) with at least 600 casualties. A network consisting of 33 broadband Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) will allow for the first time precise determination of seismic moment release with homogenous resolution down to small magnitude events (Ml 1-2) resulting in the identification of active faults and their seismogenic depths involved in current basin opening. Current locations and properties of active faults are poorly known and a thorough analysis of the local seismicity will enlighten the shallow geology and possibly the stress regime (from focal mechanisms) in the Ligurian basin.