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C. Nunziata1, C. Sacco1 and G. F. Panza2, 3


Modeling of Ground Motion at Napoli for the 1688 Scenario Earthquake



Pure Appl. Geophys. 168 (2011), 495–508

© 2010 Birkhäuser / Springer Basel AG

DOI 10.1007/s00024-010-0113-1


(1)Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy

(2)Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy

     (3)The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, SAND Group, Trieste, Italy



The Sannio seismogenic area turns out to be responsible for the highest peak ground accelerations (PGA) and seismic response spectra (SRS) at Napoli. The 1688 earthquake is considered representative of the area, and realistic synthetic seismograms have been computed for this scenario earthquake at the historical center and the eastern sector of Napoli. The use of a hybrid technique based on mode summation and finite-difference methods is fully justified by the available detailed knowledge about the geological and geophysical properties of the Neapolitan subsoil. This modeling makes it possible to recognize that amplifications of ~2 for PGA and >3 for SRS are to be expected because of the pyroclastic soil cover. Based on the information contained in the available catalogs, different magnitudes have been considered. Taking into account the correlation, valid for the Italian territory, between synthetic PGA and observed intensities, it turns out that the most probable magnitude (M) of the 1688 earthquake is 6.7, while M = 7.3 should be assigned to a conservative scenario earthquake. Comparison of the computed response spectra for the 1688 scenario earthquake with the Italian seismic building code shows that the code is adequate with respect to the expected effects at the historical center of Napoli, but that it underestimates the possible ground motion at the eastern sector, in particular at the newly developed area built after the 1980 earthquake.