A Completeness Analysis of the National Seismic Network of Italy

Danijel Schorlemmer, F. Mele, & Warner Marzocchi

Submitted 2010, SCEC Contribution #1219

We present a first detailed study of the earthquake detection capabilities of the Italian National Seismic Network and of the completeness threshold of its earthquake catalog. The network in its present form started operating on 16 April 2005 and is a significant improvement over the previous networks. For our analysis, we employed the PMC method as introduced by [Schorlemmer & Woessner, 2008]. This method does not estimate completeness from earthquakes samples as traditional methods, mostly based on the linearity of earthquake-size distributions. It derives detection capabilities for each station of the network and synthesizes them into maps of detection probabilities for earthquakes of a given magnitude. Thus, this method avoids the many assumptions about earthquake distributions that traditional methods make. The results show that the Italian National Seismic Network is complete at M = 2.9 for the entire territory excluding the islands of Sardinia, Pantelleria, and Lampedusa. At the M = 2.5 level, which is the reporting threshold level of the Italian Civil Protection, the network may miss events in the southern parts of Apulia and the western part of Sicily. The stations are connected through three different links to the operational datacenter in Rome. Scenario computations show that no significant drop in completeness occurs if one of these links fails, indicating a well-balanced network setup.

Schorlemmer, D., Mele, F., & Marzocchi, W. (2010). A Completeness Analysis of the National Seismic Network of Italy. Journal of Geophysical Research, (submitted). doi: 10.1029/2008JB006097.