Journal of Seismology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 721–754 | Cite as

Earthquakes in southern Dalmatia and coastal Montenegro before the large 6 April 1667 event



The fourteenth to seventeenth century seismicity of southern Dalmatia (Croatia) and coastal Montenegro deserved to be fully reappraised because of the ascertained imperfect knowledge offered by modern seismological studies and of the awareness of the smokescreen effect due to the large 6 April 1667 M 6.4 earthquake that impacted exactly the area of study. The investigation consisted of (i) a reconsideration of earthquake records made available by previous studies and (ii) a systematic analysis of historical sources contemporary to the earthquakes, especially those not yet taken into account in seismological studies. The 168 contemporary and independent records collected cast a different light on more than 300 years of seismicity of this area. Records are reckoned to be unevenly distributed among the 39 studied earthquakes, out of which 15 still rely upon a single testimony. Each record has been reevaluated with respect to its content and attributed a level of reliability, which for those reporting other 14 events was so low to prevent us from confirming their real occurrence. Completely unreliable records have been identified and discussed, to conclude that they are at the root of five fake earthquakes. Altogether, 34 intensity values in EMS-98 were assessed related to 15 moderate and five damaging earthquakes. Existing and newly obtained data contributed to putting the pre-1667 seismicity of southern Dalmatia and coastal Montenegro into a substantially different perspective.


Fourteenth to seventeenth century earthquakes Dalmatia (Croatia) Montenegro Earthquake records Macroseismic intensity EMS-98 6 April 1667 earthquake 



Indeed, this article would have not been possible without the help and support of many colleagues and friends along the years of its preparation, so many that probably some have already forgotten about their contribution, which we would like to deeply acknowledge: Valentina Montaldo and Christa Hammerl, for translation of important German sources; Giuliana Albini, for help in reading some obscure sixteenth century documents; Elena Greci, for translation from Russian of an important nineteenth century collection of Ragusan documents; Ina Cecić, for translations from Serbo-Croatian, a language not familiar to us, still; Relja Seferović and Stanislava Stojan, for their interest in this research; Vesna Rimac and all the colleagues of the Državni arhiv u Dubrovniku (State Archive of Dubrovnik, Croatia), who put up with my (PA) countless requests of documents in my many visits to the great archive in which they work. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the suggestions of the reviewers, who urged us to revise the draft manuscript, for the better.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di MilanoMilanItaly

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