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M6.2 Earthquake in Italy

M 6.2 Italy earthquake shake map (USGS)

M 6.2 Italy earthquake shake map (USGS)

In the early hours of 24th August 2016, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy, southeast of Norcia. The quake occurred as a result of shallow normal faulting on a NW-SE orientated fault in the Central Apennines.

This is a tectonically and geologically complex area, due to the subduction of the Adria micro-plate beneath the Appenines from east to west, as well as continental collision between the Eurasia and Africa plates building the Alpine mountain belt further north, and the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin to the west. Several significant earthquakes have been recorded in the area in recent history.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 10km, with an epicentre around the town of Accumoli. At time of writing (24th August), the earthquake has claimed 38 lives, with many more missing and injured.

Fellows and members of the public may find the following resources useful:

Italy earthquake and seismic hazards in the Apennines

USGS information page

USGS earthquake summary poster

BBC Science: Quakes ‘ever present’ for Apennines

Geological Society web resources

Geological Society London Lecture: When Continents Collide


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