Journal of Seismology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 201–218 | Cite as

Seismicity of Northwestern Italy during the last 30 years

  • D. Scafidi
  • S. Barani
  • R. De Ferrari
  • G. Ferretti
  • M. Pasta
  • M. Pavan
  • D. Spallarossa
  • C. Turino
Original Article


The aim of this work is to describe the seismicity of Northwestern Italy from the very detailed picture provided by 30 years of accurate instrumental recordings coming from the Regional Seismic Network of Northwestern Italy (RSNI—University of Genoa). In an attempt to provide, for the first time, a comprehensive view of the seismicity in the area, this study describes the main characteristics of the database collected by the RSNI network. The seismicity is spread almost over the entire area, but it is mainly concentrated in the Northern Apennines and in the western sector of the Alps. The seismicity of the area is superficial: It is almost confined to the first 20 km of depth. Only a few deeper events are located in a small area southwest of the city of Turin, down to a depth of 80 km, and below the Northern Apennines down to 60–70-km depth. The majority of the earthquakes in this sector of the Italian peninsula are of low magnitude; nevertheless, the areas where the highest magnitude earthquakes took place during the last three decades are the Northern Apennines and the lower Piedmont, on land, and the Ligurian Sea, offshore. They are indeed the areas where the most damaging historical earthquakes have occurred, giving emphasis, if necessary, to the importance of continuous seismic monitoring.


Seismicity Northwestern Italy Western Alps Ligurian Sea Northern Apennines 



The authors of this manuscript wish to sincerely thank all the technicians and researchers who, over the years, have worked for the RSNI network and made its maintenance and development possible. We are particularly grateful to Paolo Augliera, Dino Bindi, Giacomo Carenzo, Marco Cattaneo, Marco Massa, Enzo Zunino, and Claudio Eva for their management of the network up to 2010.

We would like to thank Marco Mucciarelli, an anonymous reviewer, and the Associate Editor Thomas Braun for their precious comments that helped in improving the paper.

The maps and graphs were drawn with the Generic Mapping Tool (Wessel and Smith 1998). Digital elevation data of maps are taken from the CGIAR-CSI SRTM 90-m Database (Jarvis et al. 2008).

Supplementary material

10950_2014_9461_Fig9_ESM.gif (221 kb)
Online Resource 1

Diagrams showing the magnitudes of events per day as calculated by the RSNI network in the last 30 years. (GIF 221 kb)

10950_2014_9461_MOESM1_ESM.tif (973 kb)
(TIFF 973 kb)
10950_2014_9461_Fig10_ESM.gif (253 kb)
Online Resource 2

Interpolated map of the seismicity focal depth calculated averaging areas of 500 × 500 m (see text for details). Light areas delimit poorly constrained data. (GIF 253 kb)

10950_2014_9461_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1.5 mb)
TIFF 1574 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Scafidi
    • 1
  • S. Barani
    • 1
  • R. De Ferrari
    • 1
  • G. Ferretti
    • 1
  • M. Pasta
    • 1
  • M. Pavan
    • 1
  • D. Spallarossa
    • 1
  • C. Turino
    • 1
  1. 1.DISTAVUniversità degli studi di GenovaGenoaItaly

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