Saturday, August 04, 2012

Medieval records shed light on Italian earthquakes

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.

 Their article, ”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” appears in this month’s issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

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