Paleoseismological trench in Slovenia

New paper on the active faults of Slovenia

In a new paper we show that the Idrija and Predjama Faults in Slovenia have had strong earthquakes in the Holocene.
Paleoseismological trench in Slovenia
Image: Christoph Grützner


Map of the working area Map of the working area Picture: Christoph Grützner

In a new paper we focus on the activity of the major active strike-slip faults in western Slovenia. First, we analysed high-resolution levation data from airborne laser scanning surveys to locate the active faults. A more precise delineation of the fault traces was then done with geoelectrics and georadar surveys. We then excavated the faults and looked for typical earthquake deformation in the subsurface. We were able to date displaced sediments and deformed rock layers. As a result, we now know that the Idrija Fault has caused a severe earthquake in the last ~2,500 years. The Predjama Fault was also active in the Holocene. These earthquakes were probably much stronger than most historically recorded seismic events. Our study therefore provides important data to better understand the tectonics of the working area and to properly assess the earthquake hazard. The research was funded by the DFG and is part of the SPP 4DMB. The paper is open access.

Grützner, C., Aschenbrenner, S., Jamšek Rupnik, P., Reicherter, K., Saifelislam, N., Vičič, B., Vrabec, M., Welte, J., & Ustaszewski, K. (2021). Holocene surface-rupturing earthquakes on the Dinaric Fault System, western Slovenia. Solid Earth, 12, 2211–2234,