Understanding Crust Dynamics and Subduction in Southern Italy



To mark the centennial anniversary of the 1908 earthquake that shook Messina, Italy, the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) began the [Messina 1908–2008] research project. The aim is to clarify the extension deformation processes that occur in the Strait of Messina and to understand relationships between subduction and crustal deformation there by merging existing data and studies, and by collecting new and more detailed seismological, geodetic, historical, and satellite observations.

The Mw 7.1 earthquake that struck the Strait of Messina on 28 December 1908 is one of the largest events ever recorded in the central Mediterranean region, and estimates of fatalities range from 60,000 to 100,000. Numerous studies agree that the rupture occurred on a north-northeast striking normal fault located in the strait, although the precise location and dip of the fault are still being debated [Pino et al., 2000].