Ground effects and hydrological changes in the Southern Apennines (Italy) in response to the 23 July 1930 earthquake (MS=6.7)

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Esposito, E. ; Pece, R. ; Porfido, S. ; Tranfaglia, G. (2009)

The 23 July 1930 earthquake (<i>M<sub>S</sub></i>=6.7) in the Southern Apennines (Italy) was a catastrophic event that produced many effects such as surface faulting, fractures, landslides, settlements, hydrological changes, variations in chemical/physical activity related to the volcanic and/or thermal zones and also acoustic and optical phenomena. It is the first great earthquake of the twentieth century that was studied, thanks to the hydrological monitoring network of the Italian Hydrographic Survey (IHS) set up from 1925 to 1929. For this earthquake we analysed the initial IHS hydrometric and pluviometric data, looking for significant anomalies in springs, water wells and mountain streams. Hydrological data relative to rivers, springs and water wells indicate that some changes can be correlated with the earthquake: a post-seismic excess discharge in some streams, pre- and co-seismic decreases in stream flows and water levels in wells, pre- and post-seismic increases in discharges. The pre- and co-seismic stresses and the tectonic deformations were studied in order to find a possible model of interaction between stress state and hydrological variations. The anomalies found in this work can be considered "rebound anomalies", which are the most common precursor reported by many authors and related to increases in porosity and permeability caused by the fracturing that precedes an earthquake. An estimation of the total excess discharge (0.035 km<sup>3</sup>) caused by the <i>M<sub>S</sub></i>=6.7 Irpinia earthquake is consistent with the excess discharge of about 0.01 km<sup>3</sup> determined for the <i>M<sub>w</sub></i>=6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake.
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