Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient records shed light on Italian earthquakes (Aquila area)

Date:
August 3, 2012
Source:
Seismological Society of America
Summary:
When a damaging earthquake struck the area of L'Aquila in central Italy in 2009, it was the latest in the region's long history of strong and persistent quakes. But according to a new study the historical record on ancient and medieval earthquakes comes with its own shortcomings that must be addressed before the seismic history of L'Aquila can be useful in assessing the current seismic hazard in this area.

When a damaging earthquake struck the area of L'Aquila in central Italy in 2009, it was the latest in the region's long history of strong and persistent quakes. The rich recorded history of settlement in the area, along with oral traditions, archaeological excavations, inscriptions and medieval texts, and offer insight into how often the region might expect destructive earthquakes.

But according to a new study by Emanuela Guidoboni and colleagues, the historical record on ancient and medieval earthquakes comes with its own shortcomings that must be addressed before the seismic history of L'Aquila can be useful in assessing the current seismic hazard in this area.

To illustrate some of these potential gaps in knowledge, the researchers combed through written records and information from archaeological excavations, covering the period from ancient Roman occupation in the first century A.D. to the late Middle Ages of the 15th century A.D. The authors say, researchers must piece together information ranging from collapsed roofs within an ancient Roman city, to the evidences of rebuilding damaged baths and cisterns. In later years, better written records offer more detail on the specific location and size of earthquakes occurring in 1349, 1456, and 1461 (a long seismic sequence).

The authors say that the early to middle Middle Ages, in particular, have a dearth of information that needs to be addressed to have a more complete picture of the region's seismic history. Overall, the records confirm that the region appears to have been host to a high number of strong earthquakes. The authors also point out a tendency in the area to produce multiple and nearly simultaneous seismic events that vary considerably in their impact.

As Guidoboni and her colleagues note, the earthquakes have had a strong influence in the region's economy and culture. It is a impact that can be seen clearly in the historical records, such as a written account of a large earthquake in 1315. During that quake, warring factions in the town came together after they "were struck with fear at the strong shaking when a frightening earthquake soon afterwards struck that place in a terrible way," the official account says, "and they abandoned their wrongdoing and returned to the narrow path of their conscience."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Seismological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emanuela Guidoboni, Alberto Comastri, Dante Mariotti, Cecilia Ciuccarelli and Maria Giovanna Bianchi. Ancient and Medieval Earthquakes in the Area of L'Aquila (Northwestern Abruzzo, Central Italy), A.D. 1-1500: A Critical Revision of the Historical and Archaeological Data. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2012

Cite This Page:

Seismological Society of America. "Ancient records shed light on Italian earthquakes (Aquila area)." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803131932.htm>.
Seismological Society of America. (2012, August 3). Ancient records shed light on Italian earthquakes (Aquila area). ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803131932.htm
Seismological Society of America. "Ancient records shed light on Italian earthquakes (Aquila area)." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120803131932.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Organic Fertilizer Helps Reforestation of Monarch Butterflies’ Winter Retreat

New Organic Fertilizer Helps Reforestation of Monarch Butterflies’ Winter Retreat

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Using an organic fertiliser, a conservationist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), leads an award-winning project to reforest the sanctuary of monarch butterflies. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins