Who we are
Megathrusts are very large faults that allow one plate to overthrust another, accumulating much of the inter-plate displacement. They can generate very large earthquakes (Mw 8+) but if megathrusts are slipping too slowly or are sufficiently warm (>~300°C), they may creep without breaking.
A group of scientists from universities and research institutions from many different countries (Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and United Kingdom) and coordinated by the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources has shed new light into the recent evolution of the African rift valley and placed fundamental new constraints on how major sectors of continental rift valleys propagate, interact and link.
Samuele Agostini and Paolo Di Giuseppe (IGG-CNR, Pisa), along with Mehmet Yılmaz Savaşçın (Munzur University, Tunceli), Piero Manetti, and Sandro Conticelli (Università degli Studi, Firenze) have recently published a paper in the journal Lithos about the evolution of volcanism in Cappadocia (Turkey).
New article on Nature: CaSiO3 perovskite in diamond indicates the recycling of oceanic crust into the lower mantle
A CaSiO3 perovskite-structured crystal enclosed in a South African natural diamond has been discovered and studied for the first time. The titanium rich composition of this inclusion indicates a bulk composition consistent with derivation from basaltic oceanic crust subducted to pressures equivalent to those present at the depths of the uppermost lower mantle (780 km). The relatively ‘heavy’ carbon isotopic composition of the surrounding diamond, together with the pristine high-pressure CaSiO3 structure, provides evidence for the recycling of oceanic crust and surficial carbon to lower-mantle depths.
IGG contributed to a review article, just published on The Cryosphere, on the state, trends and future challenges of the European mountain cryosphere, as a result of a specialized workshop that took place in Riederalp (Switzerland) in 2016.
The paper proposes a geothermal prospecting method to delimit closed thermal anomalies by using simple chemical/physical parameters measured in a shallow unconfined aquifer, by chance found to be thermally anomalous. The paper also suggests how to make a hierarchy of thermal manifestations in a territory and if they are originated by a low enthalpy or a high enthalpy deep geothermal system, accordingly.
The Ethiopian Rift Valley is a classic example of an area where a continent is splitting apart. Here, active volcanism, earthquakes and fracturing of the Earth's surface break continents and form new oceans. In this paper we analyze the shape and size of the faults and fractures combined with the relief and river drainage of the rift valley, in order to interpret which faults control the shape of the rift, and how they have evolved through time. We find that more than half of the rift is defined by a large fault escarpment along the eastern side of the rift, with the western side defined by a gradual slope (an asymmetric rift). Less than half is a “classical” rift with clear fault escarpments on both sides (a symmetric rift), and we find no evidence for the previously held view of progressive evolution from an asymmetric to symmetric rift. Instead, we find that the morphology of the rift is primarily controlled by the contrasting properties of the rocks beneath the two sides of the rift, with major fault escarpments forming only where the rocks are strong. Surface processes likely amplified the along-axis differences in rift architecture.
Full reference: Corti G., Molin P., Sembroni A., Bastow I.D., Keir D. (2018). Control of pre-rift lithospheric structure on the architecture and evolution of continental rifts: insights from the Main Ethiopian Rift, East Africa. Tectonics, 37, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017TC004799
The importance of these results, based on SIMS profiles of the 7Li/30Si ion ratio in plagioclase crystals from products of the paroxysmal sequence of Mt. Etna (period 2011–2013), relies on the application of methods, recently used exclusively for closedsystem volcanoes producing violent eruptions, to open-conduit systems that have generally quiet eruptive periods of activity, sometimes interrupted by sudden re-awakening and the production of anomalously energetic eruptions.
Summer school PCES2020 “(Past) Climates and the Earth System”
The summer school PCES2020 “(Past) Climates and the Earth System” will be held in Urbino from 13 to 26 July. The course will provide PhD students and...
Seminar: “Tephra glass shard geochemistry: applications from climate correlation to modelling magmatic processes"
On February 3rd, at 12:00, in the “Aula Riunioni” of the Institute of Geosciences and Georisources (Area della Ricerca di Pisa), Professor Nicholas...
Prehistoric earthquakes in Lunigiana and the activity of the Mulazzo fault
The Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources of Florence, as part of the agreement with the Tuscany region for the study of active and capable...
Prize in memory of the Colleague Geol. David Giuntini
The Geologists Foundation of Tuscany, under the patronage of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Pisa, the Basin Authority of the...
Sedimentary and Tectonic evolution of the Cambrian-Ordovician red beds of the Atlas-Meseta domains (Morocco)
Italy Partner: IGG-CNR. Responsable Dr. Alessandro Ellero
Morocco Partner: Ecole Normale Supérieure, Université Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech. Responsable Prof. Hassan Ouanaimi
Sa.Pe.Vo. El Salvador mitigar Peligro Volcanico
The Sa.Pe.Vo. project is a product of the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources of CNR. The project team includes Unifi, Unipa, UNIRM1 and Universidad de El Salvador. The Italian Agency for International Cooperation has financed the project.
VIGOR was a four year Project launched at the end of 2010, coordinated at national level by CNR-IGG and dedicated to a comprehensive assessment of geothermal energy and its technological applications in four regions of southern Italy (Calabria, Campania, Apulia and Sicily, the “Regioni Convergenza”).
The Geothermal Atlas of southern Italy is a project aimed at characterizing, assessing and mapping of conventional and unconventional geothermal resources for power production in southern Italy.
Geothermal ERA-NET Project
Geothermal ERA-NET is a European project co-funded for four years by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development 2007-2013.
Bilateral Project Italy-Taiwan
Geochemical tracers and indicators for the evaluation of geothermal resources is a Joint Research Project between National Council of Research of Italy and Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, funded for 2 years.