Julian Alpen, Slowenien

New Paper

"Late Quaternary Tectonic Activity of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust, Friulian Plain, NE Italy". We have published a new paper on the active tectonics NE of Italy in "Geosciences".​
Julian Alps, Slovenia
Image: Christoph Grützner

Published: 23 April 2020, 22:31

Viscolani, A., Grützner, C., Diercks, M., Reicherter, K., & Ustaszewski, K. (2020). Late Quaternary Tectonic Activity of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust, Friulian Plain, NE Italy. Geosciences 10(2), 84, doi:10.3390/geosciences10020084.


The NW-SE trending Udine-Buttrio Thrust is a partly blind fault that affects the Friulian
plain southeast of Udine in NE Italy. It is part of a wider fault system that accommodates the
northward motion of the Adriatic plate. Although seismic reflection data and morphological evidence
show that the fault was active during the Quaternary, comparably little is known about its tectonic
activity. We used high-resolution digital elevation models to investigate the surface expression
of the fault. Measured vertical surface offsets show significant changes along strike with uplift
rates varying between 0 and 0.5 mm/yr. We then analyze a topographic scarp near the village of
Manzano in more detail. Field mapping and geophysical prospections (Georadar and Electrical
Resistivity Tomography) were used to image the subsurface geometry of the fault. We found vertical
offsets of 1–3 m in Natisone River terraces younger than 20 ka. The geophysical data allowed the
identification of deformation of the fluvial sediments, supporting the idea that the topographic scarp
is a tectonic feature and that the terraces have been uplifted systematically over time. Our findings fit
the long-term behaviour of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust. We estimate a post-glacial vertical uplift rate
of 0.08–0.17 mm/yr recorded by the offset terraces. Our results shed light on the Late Quaternary
behaviour of this thrust fault in the complicated regional tectonic setting and inform about its hitherto
overlooked possible seismic hazard.

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