News

Seismic experiment in Ivrea-Verbano zone successfully completed

Fig. 1: Location of the two seismic profiles (yellow: planning, magenta: realization) in Val Sesia near Varallo (Piedmont, N-Italy). (Photo: M.Weber)
Fig. 2: Three 17-ton vibrators on the SEIZE profile near Varallo (Piedmont, Italy) (Photo: M.Weber)
Fig. 3: Construction of the stations under difficult circumstances along the (only) road. (Photo: M. Weber)

The Ivrea-Verbano zone in the Italian Alps is one of the best studied archetypes for the continental-crustal earth-mantle boundary. So far, it has not been explored by any deep drilling. The SEIZE project (SEismic imaging of the Ivrea-Verbano ZonE) has now laid the foundation for the planning, execution and the interpretation of a drilling planned for 2022. It is to take place within the framework of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). This ICDP borehole will be up to be four kilometers deep. It will provide a unique opportunity to investigate geological, geophysical, hydrological and microbiological properties at the same time.

The SEIZE experiment, which has been sucessfully completed, will provide a structural image of the upper earth's crust as well as a seismological-tomographic image. Seismic sources consisted of three 17-ton vibrators, they excited signals every 60 m along the two selected lines. Three kilometers in front of and three kilometer behind the vibrators, a recording device consisting of 300 single-component geophones moved synchronously with them. A further 100 three-component seismic stations recorded all signals up to a distance of 15 km.

The field experiment wasn't an easy task since most of the work had to be carried out along the few valley roads with often very narrow roadsides. The experiment took place from 17 to 30 October 2020 in Val Sesia in Piedmont (Italy). The team consisted of seven GFZ employees and it was supported by four students from Italian universities. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic, all participants returned safely and the analysis of the collected data can now begin. 


Scientific Contact:

Prof. Dr. Michael Weber 
Geophysical Deep Sounding
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
e-mail: michael.weber@gfz-potsdam.de

Scientific Contact:
Manfred Stiller 
Near-Surface Geophysics
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
phone: +49 331 288-1279
Fax: +49 331 288-1266
e-mail: manfred.stiller@gfz-potsdam.de

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