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Coseismic Damage at an Archaeological Site in Sicily, Italy: Evidence of Roman Age Earthquake Surface Faulting

  • Autori: Bottari, C.; Martorana, R.; Scudero, S.; Capizzi, P.; Cavallaro, D.; Pisciotta, A.; D’Alessandro, A.; Coltelli, M.; Lodato, L.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Archaeoseismology can provide a useful chronological tool for constraining earthquakes and documenting significant evidence that would otherwise be lost. In this paper, we report a case of surface faulting on ancient man-made structures belonging to the archaeological site of Santa Venera al Pozzo situated along the eastern flank of Mt. Etna volcano in eastern Sicily (southern Italy), which is affected by well-developed tectonic faults. Geological surveys highlight a set of fractures affecting the archaeological ruins, suggesting the occurrence of a capable fault zone across the area. An integrated geophysical survey was carried out in order to identify the main subsurface tectonic discontinuity ascribable to the fault zone. The information derived from different geophysical techniques, such as electrical resistivity tomography, seismic refraction tomography, ground-penetrating radar, and magnetic surveys allowed us to infer that the fractures observed at the surface could have been produced by coseismic rupture. They are conceivably linked to a strong earthquake that probably occurred in the Roman period, around mid-end of the third-century AD; time constraints are inferred through the dating of buildings of the archaeological site.