Articles | Volume 24
09 Mar 2010
 | 09 Mar 2010

Georadar investigations to detect cavities in a historical town damaged by an earthquake of the past

F. T. Gizzi, A. Loperte, A. Satriani, V. Lapenna, N. Masini, and M. Proto

Abstract. This paper aims to highlight the use of the georadar as a useful prospecting technique to identify the areal density and the geometrical features of the grottoes placed in a historical town characterised by high seismic hazard.

The town considered here is Rionero in Vulture (Southern Italy) that was hit by several historical earthquakes, among which the 1930 Irpinia earthquake (Me=6.7, Is=VIII MCS).

For this event a damage map was already available from a previous study (Gizzi and Masini, 2006). This map shows that some sectors of the town suffered higher damage. One factor causing the uneven distribution of the effects is considered to be the presence of grottoes.

To strengthen this work hypothesis it was necessary to in-depth investigate the subsoil of Rionero in Vulture. Therefore, geophysical data were correlated and integrated with data obtained from field surveys and historical documentary sources. All these investigations allowed to obtain more insights about the influences of the man-made caves on seismic damage.