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Earthquakes in Italy: what is the reason of seismic activity?

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Earthquakes in Italy: what is the reason of seismic activity?

Frequent tremors in Italy have recently became the most discussed topic in the mass media. Maps of seismic activity indicate dozens of earthquakes every day in this region. The magnitude of some registered as high as 6.6 on the Richter scale. For many residents of the Apennine Peninsula, these events were unexpected. In many cases people drew together for mutual assistance, which helped save many lives. As it is stated in the first ALLATRA foundation "THE VALUE OF LIFE":

“The highest value in this world is human life. It is necessary to protect the life of any person as your own, for although life is fleeting, it gives everyone a chance to increase their main value: the inner spiritual riches, which are the only thing that allow the personality to achieve true spiritual immortality.
Increase the main value of your life each day, for man is suddenly mortal. Strive for perfection and adapt your personal choice and activities to the main purpose of your existence – the spiritual and moral self-transformation and service to the highest universal human spiritual values.”

Statistics show about 110 earthquakes in the region of magnitude 3.0 or greater in the period from 05/01/2016 to 11/08/2016 (in the last 6 month).

Fig. 1. Map of seismic activity in the Apennine peninsula and the eastern coast of the Adriatic and Ionian seas with magnitude > 3.0 for the period from 01.05.2016 to 11.08.2016. According to the USGS.

Today, scientists know that the Apennine peninsula, on which located not only Italy, but also, San Marino and Vatican City, is at the junction of three tectonic plates: African, Eurasian and Adriatic (Apulian). As a result, this region is characterized by rock formations, volcanic and seismic activity.

Fig. 2. Tectonic structure of the peninsula.

The Adriatic microplate broke away from the African plate forming the so-called transform fault, in which a new fault lies along the boundary of the lithospheric plate. The Adriatic Plate is still moving towards the Eurasian plate and "dives" under the Apennine mountain range. It is moving from east to west and rotates clockwise, creating tension in the earth's crust. The two plates are separated by the Periadriatic Seam, which runs through the Alps. A part of the oceanic crust of the African plate is exposed to subduction at the southern border of the Adriatic plate, that led to the formation of volcanoes in southern Italy.

"It is known that the African plate slowly, but surely is going down to the bottom. It is unlikely that Africa would sink, but Africa and Europe continue to come closer together. The question is how will they meet." – Rinus Wortel, Utrecht University (The Netherlands).

The devastating earthquake that took place in August and October 2016 in Italy, occurred because of the Adriatic plate movement.

Fig. 3. Tectonic structure of the peninsula. The arrows indicate compression and extension zones.

The following figure show the tectonic structure of Europe and the Middle East. After all, the processes occurring in the Earth's crust are interrelated. Consequently, an increase in activity in one region can lead to a natural increase in activity of the other region.

Fig. 4. Tectonic structure of Europe and the Middle East.

Due to the complex geological structure, Italy is located in the risk zone for:

–Increased seismic activity. In 2016 we saw the devastating earthquakes, which occurred in August 24 (6.2 points), October 30 (6.6 points) and October 26 (6.1 points), etc.

–Orogeny (the Apennines, the Alps);

–Volcanic activity. Italy has 13 volcanoes, 3 of which are giants – Vesuvius (dormant), Stromboli and Etna (active).

The Phlegraean Fields  (Italian: Campi Flegrei) are situated to the west of Naples, on the Gulf of Pozzuoli (Italian: Golfo di Pozzuoli). They include a coastal strip of the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italian. Mare Tirreno) near Qom (Italian. Cuma), and the islands of Nisida, Procida, Vivara and Ischia. The fields cover an area of approximately 10 × 10 km. Scientists believe that the last eruption of Campi Flegrei caldera occurred 39,280 years ago. The latest activity of the caldera was recorded on November 29, 2015.

Fig. 5. The Phlegraean Fields (Italy).

According to the scientific observations, unlike the interconnected communicating vessels, the Yellowstone (USA) and Aira (Japan) calderas, the Phlegraean Fields do not pose a threat, at least in the coming years. However, we should not forget the other active tectonic and volcanic phenomena in the Apennine peninsula mentioned above.
It is worth pointing out, that scientists from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology stated, that according to the photos taken by satellite, soil in the area of Castelluccio has lowered up to 70 cm due to the latest seismic activity in October 2016.

In addition, the representatives from the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA), said that an earthquake of 6.6 magnitude, occurred in central Italy on October 30, 2016. It led to a significant deformation of the earth's surface, with a total area measuring 1100 square kilometers.

According to scientists who studied images obtained from space, the area adjacent to the town of Norcia (region of Umbria) has shifted westward by about 30 cm. Whereas the area near the village of Montegallo (region Marche), on the contrary, shifted to the East approximately by 40 cm.

All these processes give evidence of impending global cataclysms on Earth, and humanity should start preparing for them in advance.
When speaking about preparations, we do not mean the construction of bunkers (by the way, meaningless), but purification of human relations, improvement of the atmosphere in society. If people extend a hand of friendship and help each other, then for all of us will be much easier to live through and make a choice in favor of unity and friendship among all peoples of the world in the hour of difficult climatic tests. The unity of people from all over the world on the basis of spiritual and moral values can change the course of history.

“People have dreamt of such a society since the dawn of times, calling it in their legends “the Land of Good”, “the state of bliss”, “the golden millennium”, “the world of justice”, “millennium”, that is, the future that can come nearer by divine intervention but reached through human actions”, – from the book ALLATRA.

“Given the impending global cataclysms, people themselves need to begin to change their attitude towards themselves and society here and now. After all, you do not know who you will be tomorrow – a refugee or a host, and what your chances of survival in the given situation will be.  In the modern world of global climate change, you cannot vouch for an inch of land as new manifestations of extreme anomalies of nature occur and represent danger even for relatively stable living areas. In other words, no one is immune to all sorts of growing risks, and any of us can become a climate refugee already tomorrow. In this regard, it is extremely important to globally and quickly change the values of society from the consumer format to the spiritual, moral and creative one, where good, humanity, conscience, mutual help, friendship, and the dominance of spiritual and moral foundations would stand in the first place in relationships among people, regardless of their nationality, religion, social status and other conventional and artificial divisions of the world society. When all people strive to create life that is convenient for all others, then in this life they will preserve themselves and their future”.
From the scientific ALLATRA SCIENCE report "On the Problems and Consequences of Global Climate Change on Earth. Effective Solutions to These Problems".

Prepared by Ekaterina Ageychenko and Vitaliy Afanasev

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