The prompt identification of faults responsible for moderate-to-large earthquakes is fundamental for understanding the likelihood of further, potentially damaging events. This is increasingly challenging when the activated fault is an offshore buried thrust, where neither coseismic surface ruptures nor GPS/InSAR deformation data are available after an earthquake. We show that on 9 November 2022, an Mw 5.5 earthquake offshore Pesaro ruptured a portion of the buried Northern Apennines thrust front (the Cornelia thrust system [CTS]). By post-processing and interpreting the seismic reflection profiles crossing this thrust system, we determined that the activated fault (CTS) is an arcuate 30-km-long, NW-SE striking, SW dipping thrust and that older structures at its footwall possibly influenced its position and geometry. The activation of adjacent segments of the thrust system is a plausible scenario that deserves to be further investigated to understand the full earthquake potential of this offshore seismogenic source.
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences