Geology of the Urban Area of Catania

This paper describes how the geology of the Catania urban area (Eastern Sicily) is the result of three combined processes related to the Late Quaternary sea-level changes, the volcanic and tectonic processes and finally to human activity. The backbone of the urban area is represented by a flight of marine terraces carved on a sedimentary substratum. This is made up of a Lower-Middle Pleistocene succession of marly clays, up to 600 m thick, upwardly evolving to some tens of meters of coastal sands and fluvial-deltaic conglomerates, referred to as the Middle Pleistocene. The unconformably overlying terraced deposits, of both coastal alluvial and marine origin, are characterized by several meters of thick sands, conglomerates and silty clays. They rest on abrasion platforms distributed at different elevations dating to the sea level high-stands between 200 and 4o kyr. These indicate a strong uplift of the area which can be explained as the effect of the deformation at the footwall of the NNW-SSE trending active normal fault system located at the south-eastern lower slope of Mt. Etan that extends offshore into the Ionian sea. The sedimentary substratum is dissected by deeply entrenched valleys filled with thick lava flows, which represent most of the rocks cropping out in the city. These consist of basaltic lavas which, flowing from NW to SE, invaded the urban area in pre-historical and historical times (e.g. A.D. 252, A.D. 1381, A.D. 1669). In the ancient part of the city the uppermost stratigraphic horizons consist of several meters thick levels of ruins derived by the destruction because of the occurrence of the 1693 earthquake.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    WIT Press

    Computational Mechanics, 25 Bridge Street
    Billerica, MA  United States  01821
  • Authors:
    • Monaco, C
    • Catalano, S
    • De Guidi, G
    • Tortorici, L
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 83-102
  • Monograph Title: Seismic Prevention of Damage: A Case Study in a Mediterranean City

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010625
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1845640047
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 21 2005 1:14PM