Dynamics of the Ocean Floor


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.




Dr. Dietrich Lange

Phone: +49 431 600-2324
Email: dlange@geomar.de