Poli M.E., Falcucci E., Gori S., Monegato G., Zanferrari A., Affatato A., Baradello L., Böhm G., Bo I.D., Del Pin E., Forte E., Grimaz S.
We carried out new geological, morphotectonic, geophysical and paleoseismological investigations on the Meduno Thrust that belongs to the Pliocene-Quaternary front of the eastern Southern Alps in Friuli (NE Italy). The study area is located in the Carnic Prealps, where a series of alluvial terraces, linked to both climatic and tectonic pulses characterises the lower reach of the Meduna Valley. In correspondence of the oblique ramp of the Meduno Thrust, the Late Pleistocene Rivalunga terrace shows a set of scarps perpendicular to the Meduno valley, often modified by human activity. In order to reconstruct the tectonic setting of the area and identify the location for digging paleoseismological trenches, integrated geophysical investigations including electrical resistivity tomography, seismic refraction and reflection, ground penetrating radar and surface wave analyses (HVSR, ReMi and MASW), were carried out across the scarps of the Rivalunga terrace. Geophysical surveys pinpointed that in correspondence of the oblique ramp, stress is accommodated by a transpressive thrust system involving all the seismo-stratigraphic horizons apart from the ploughed soil. Trenching illustrated the Meduno Thrust movements during Late Pleistocene-Holocene. Trenches exhibited both shear planes and extrados fracturing, showing deformed alluvial and colluvial units. 14C datings of the colluvial units show that the most recent fault movements occurred after 1360 CE and 1670 CE. The age of the deformed stratigraphic units compared with the earthquakes listed in current catalogues, suggests that the 1776 earthquake (Mw 5.8, Io = 8–9 MCS) could represent the last seismic event linked to the Meduno thrust activity. This study provided new quantitative constraints improving seismic hazard assessment for Carnic prealpine area.