MOLE Drilling Project | Multidisciplinary Observatory and Laboratory of Experiment along a drilling in Central Italy |

A workshop is being organized under the auspices of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)

Proponents: M. Cocco and P. Montone (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Sismologia e Tettonofisica, Rome, Italy)

Scientific Organizing Committee: M. Cocco, P. Montone, M.T. Mariucci, S. Pierdominici

Provisional date: May 2008 Provisional venue: Perugia (Italy)


Following the successful preliminary proposal, submitted in January 2006, we propose to organize a workshop to promote the creation of an international multidisciplinary team of scientists in preparation of a full proposal for a drilling project in Central Italy.The drilling project is aimed to investigate the shallow crust and the inner structure of normal faults in Northern Apennines to get physical constraints on the processes controlling faulting and earthquake mechanics.The project is motivated by the need to answer to several fundamental questions concerning: i) the geophysical and geochemical processes controlling normal faulting and earthquake ruptures during moderate-to-large seismic events and ii) the low angle normal fault paradox.The selected site (the Umbria-Marche sector of Northern Apennines) offers a unique opportunity to reach a complex system of antithetic normal faults: an active fault dipping SW at 40°-45°, which ruptured during a recent earthquake sequence in 1997 (Colfiorito fault) and a low angle normal fault dipping 15°-25° towards ENE (Alto Tiberina Fault).We would like to drill a near-vertical borehole across the fault zone in this extensional tectonic setting: 1) drilling the Colfiorito active fault needs to reach a depth of about 2-3 km, targeting a high coseismic slip patch of the 1997 earthquake M=6 seismogenic structure; 2) drilling the Alto Tiberina Fault  requires reaching a depth of nearly 5-6 km, targeting a micro seismicity source, which probably moves through a combination of aseismic creep and repeating microearthquakes.In both the cases, we aim to collect new original data during the drilling and to monitor a fault zone creating a multidisciplinary observatory  at depth for geophysical and geochemical parameters.The workshop will be extremely useful to review the science rationale behind the project, to discuss possible multiple drilling targets and technical challenges, to develop a draft full proposal. 

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