Sinkhole collapse is a major hazard causing substantial social and economic losses. However, the surface deformations and sinkhole evolution are rarely recorded, as these sites are known mainly after a collapse, making the assessment of sinkhole-related hazard challenging. Furthermore, more than 40% of the sinkholes of Italy are in seismically hazardous zones; it remains unclear whether seismicity may trigger sinkhole collapse. Here we use a multidisciplinary data set of InSAR, surface mapping and historical records of sinkhole activity to show that the Prà di Lama lake is a long-lived sinkhole that was formed in an active fault zone and grew through several events of unrest characterized by episodic subsidence and lake-level changes. Moreover, InSAR shows that continuous aseismic subsidence at rates of up to 7.1mmyr-1occurred during 2003-2008, between events of unrest. Earthquakes on the major faults near the sinkhole do not trigger sinkhole activity but low-magnitude earthquakes at 4-12 km depth occurred during sinkhole unrest in 1996 and 2016. We interpret our observations as evidence of seismic creep at depth causing fracturing and ultimately leading to the formation and growth of the Prà di Lama sinkhole.

Growth of a sinkhole in a seismic zone of the northern Apennines (Italy)

Carolina Pagli
Secondo
;
Giancarlo Molli
Penultimo
;
Giacomo D'Amato Avanzi
Ultimo
2018

Abstract

Sinkhole collapse is a major hazard causing substantial social and economic losses. However, the surface deformations and sinkhole evolution are rarely recorded, as these sites are known mainly after a collapse, making the assessment of sinkhole-related hazard challenging. Furthermore, more than 40% of the sinkholes of Italy are in seismically hazardous zones; it remains unclear whether seismicity may trigger sinkhole collapse. Here we use a multidisciplinary data set of InSAR, surface mapping and historical records of sinkhole activity to show that the Prà di Lama lake is a long-lived sinkhole that was formed in an active fault zone and grew through several events of unrest characterized by episodic subsidence and lake-level changes. Moreover, InSAR shows that continuous aseismic subsidence at rates of up to 7.1mmyr-1occurred during 2003-2008, between events of unrest. Earthquakes on the major faults near the sinkhole do not trigger sinkhole activity but low-magnitude earthquakes at 4-12 km depth occurred during sinkhole unrest in 1996 and 2016. We interpret our observations as evidence of seismic creep at depth causing fracturing and ultimately leading to the formation and growth of the Prà di Lama sinkhole.
La Rosa, Alessandro; Pagli, Carolina; Molli, Giancarlo; Casu, Francesco; De Luca, Claudio; Pieroni, Amerino; D'AMATO AVANZI, GIACOMO ALFREDO
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/931806
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