The University Insubria (Como, Italy) has published the first report on the earthquake environmental effects that accompanied the Northern Italy “Finale Emilia Earthquake” of 20 May, 2012. On that day, a quake with magnitude Mw6.1 rocked the Po Plain, leaving seven people dead and hundreds of houses damaged. On 29 May, a very strong M5.8 aftershock occurred in the region.
The preliminary report published now is about the effects the earthquake had on the environment, not on man-made structures. Those effects can be for instance: liquefaction, triggering of mass movements, surface cracks, groundwater changes, tsunamis, subsidence, changes in river flow and so on. They are classified in the ESI 2007 Scale (Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale) and can be used to determine a new and special kind of earthquake intensity. The big advantage is that those effects can be compared to those of ancient earthquakes, which is extremely valuable for paleoseismological studies.
Andrea Berlusconi, Franz Livio, Francesca Ferrario, Roberto Gambillara, Alessandro M. Michetti, 2012: Earthquake environmental effects accompanying the May 20, 2012, Finale Emilia earthquake; preliminary report. DipSAT Uni Insubria Como.