+++ ICDP: Call for Proposals - Next Chance January 15, 2018 +++ Highlights and Updates Moved to the new ICDP Web Site +++

MOLE Drilling Project



Colfiorito ParkMOLE Drilling Project (Multidisciplinary Observatory and Laboratory of Experiments along a drilling in Central Italy) - This Drilling Project is aimed to investigate the shallow crust and the inner structure of normal faults in Central Apennines to get physical constraints on the processes controlling faulting and earthquake mechanics. The project is motivated by the need to answer to several fundamental questions concerning: i) the low angle normal fault paradox and ii) the geophysical and geochemical processes controlling normal faulting and earthquake ruptures during moderate-to-large seismic events.
The selected site (the Umbria-Marche sector of Central Apennines) offers a unique opportunity to reach a complex system of anthitetic normal faults: a low angle normal fault dipping 15°-25° towards ENE and an active fault dipping SW at 40°-45°, which ruptured during a recent earthquake sequence in 1997. We submit this preliminary proposal leaving open the possibility of drilling two different candidate sites, with the idea to select one (like a pilot hole) and verifying the possibility to perform the second in a subsequent time. The discussion during the workshop will be extremely useful to this goal.
We would like to drill a near-vertical borehole across the fault zone in this extensional tectonic setting:

  1. drilling the Alto Tiberina Fault Zone (Perugia, Central Italy) requires reaching a depth of nearly 5-6 km, targeting a repeating microearthquake source, which probably moves through a combination of aseismic creep and repeating microearthquakes;
  2. drilling the Colfiorito active fault needs to reach a depth of about 2-3 km, targeting the 1997 earthquake M=6 seismogenic structure and a high coseismic slip patch.

Although the two sites are located in the same area (about 10-20 km from each other), the drilling experiments involve very different research perspectives. In both the cases, we aim to collect new original data and to permanently monitor the fault zones creating an observatory for a multidisciplinary monitoring of geophysical and geochemical parameters.

(Photo ©:ASSISI Online™ - Colfiorito Park)



Europe, Italy, Northern Apennines, Perugia, Alto Tiberina Fault, Colfiorito Fault



43° 7' N, 12° 23' E (Please scroll down to end of page for more information.)


Project Start and End
  • not yet determined


Programs and Funding


Principal Investigators
  • Massimo Cocco, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Roma1, Sismologia e Tettonofisica
  • Paola Montone, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Roma1, Sismologia e Tettonofisica
  • Massimiliano Rinaldo Barchi, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Dipartimento di Fisica e Geologia
  • Georg Dresen, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 4.2, Geomechanics and Rheology
  • Mark D. Zoback, Stanford University, School of Earth Sciences, Department of Geophysics


Cooperating Principal Investigators
  • Maria Teresa Mariucci, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Roma1, Sismologia e Tettonofisica
  • Simona Pierdominici, German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 6.4, Centre for Scientific Drilling, (Operational Support Group OSG/ICDP)


Partners and Contractors



Active Faults, Earthquake Physics, Fluids, ICDP-2007/13, MO08, MOLE, Normal Faults, Stress Field


Current State





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