Earthquake source physics – Near-source earthquake effects

Properly detecting and interpreting effects occurring during the so-called fault cycle.

Fault motions are commonly assumed as the cause of an earthquake (earthquake source). Properly detecting and interpreting effects occurring during the so-called fault cycle is the goal of the present research. Earthquakes deform permanently and transiently the rocks surrounding the earthquake source. These effects can be recorded at the Earth surface by space geodetic measurements. Part of the research activity is devoted to the acquisition of GPS data in several stations located in Emilia Romagna (in collaboration with the University of Padua (UniPd). At the same time, geodetic data contain also signatures of processes of different origin, which should be recognized before proceeding to further analysis. To this aim it is important to integrate geodetic data with other kinds of observations (e.g. seismicity patterns, water table level variations, precipitation, soil compaction measurements) both before (inter-seismic stage of the fault cycle) and after (post-seismic stage) an earthquake occurrence. Most of the interpretation of earthquake effects is based on the evaluation through models of the deformation induced by the same earthquake, which in turns depends on the earthquake source parameterization and medium properties (both elastic and poro-elastic). For this reason, a realistic modelling of earthquake surface effects provides support to the assumed parameterization of the earthquake source and embedding medium.


  • RFO University of Bologna
  • Regione Emilia Romagna

ERC Sectors

  • PE10_5 Geology, tectonics, volcanology
  • PE10_7 Physics of earth's interior, seismology, volcanology
  • PE10_15 Earth observations from space/remote sensing

Group coordinator

Maria Elina Belardinelli

Associate Professor

Group members

Eugenio Mandler

PhD Student

Massimo Nespoli

Research fellow

Other members


  • INGV, Italy
  • University of Padova, Italy
  • Université de Rennes 1 Géosciences, France
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