Geofisica e Sismologia

Department Geofisica e Sismologia


Elvira BattimelliMembro
Maria Vittoria GargiuloMembro
Ferdinando NapolitanoMembro
Alfonso Rossi FilangieriMembro
Russo RaffaellaMembro
AMOROSO OrtensiaMembro
CAPUANO PaoloResponsabile Scientifico


Georesistivimetro MAE A6000E 48 canali

3 axis 1Hz velocity-meter with Lippman correct

3 Channel Linux base recorder with GPS

GeoExplorer HVSR data processing module license

Sismometri da pozzo a banda larga

Unità storage dati 4 TB

Data loggers Quanterra Q330


The Geophysics and Seismology Laboratory (GeoSismoLab) of the Department of Physics "E.R. Caianiello" of the University of Salerno aims to study natural phenomena of the Solid and Fluid Earth through direct and indirect geophysical analysis.

Doing research in any scientific field requires a good network of people to collaborate with, forming consortia in Italian or European projects. The results of these analyses must then be disseminated to the scientific community and th population in a simple, clear and understandable language. These are the principles on which, with enthusiasm and professionalism, the mission and the activities of GeoSismoLab are developed, based on four fundamental pillars in the scientific field:

  • Research
  • Didactics
  • Coordination and participation in projects
  • Community Engagement

Follow us on -

Twitter @sismolabunisa

IG @geoesismolab



Seismic imaging

To assess the seismic hazard of complex tectonic active areas it is necessary to characterise the seismogenic source (fault) and examine the elastic and inelastic properties of the medium in which the seismic waves propagate. Several datasets have been analysed so far, from tectonic contexts to georesource exploitation areas: Irpinia and Pollino in southern Italy; the Val D'Agri oil field; the geothermal fields of Nesjavellir (Iceland) and St. Gallen (Switzerland). Analyses are also carried out in collaboration with Italian and foreign institutions: University of Calabria, University of Sannio, JGU Mainz, INGV and others.

For fault characterization, in GeoSeismoLab we provide the application of absolute and relative localisation techniques (master-slave, double differences) of earthquake hypocentres, and we evaluate other parameters characterising the seismic source, such as magnitude, focal mechanisms, rupture length, stress-drop.

Velocity tomography, which is necessary to study the elastic properties of the propagating medium of seismic waves, involves inverting the arrival times of P and S waves for both the velocity model and the earthquake location parameters. The resolution of the map is evaluated, indicating the reliability of the anomalies, and the results are interpreted in terms of Vp, Vs, and Vp/Vs. The results are then interpreted based on geological knowledge of the area, if available.

Attenuation tomography is fundamental for the study of the inelastic properties of the medium, i.e. the contributions of scattering and absorption, the former related to small-scale heterogeneities such as fractures or faults, the latter related to energy loss through heat. The study of seismic wave attenuation can involve body waves or tail waves, i.e. waves generated immediately after S-waves. In GeoSismoLab we study the attenuation of body waves through the application of the tail normalization method and the t* technique. Tail wave attenuation is studied to separate and map the scattering and absorption in different complex tectonic areas, and mark the area with a different amount of fluid or highly fractured.

Climate Changes

Climate changes are affecting every country of the world from Poles to the equator. It is destroying national economies and affecting human lives. Weather patterns are changing, glaciers are shrinking, sea levels are rising, desertification is increasing, and weather extreme events are becoming more frequent.

The GeoSismoLab has a strong focus on the important issue of climate change and it has already promoted several meetings about this topic. These meetings have been addressed to high school students, undergraduate students and to ordinary people. The goal is to make the population of each grade level aware of the problem and prepared for the changes that will have to be faced in mitigating the issue.

Multi-Risk Analysis

Geo-resources are widely exploited in our society, with huge benefits for both economy and communities. Nevertheless, with benefits come risks and impacts. Understanding how such risks and impacts are intrinsically borne in a given project is of critical importance for both industry and society. In particular, it is crucial to distinguish between the specific impacts related to exploiting a given energy resource and those shared with the exploitation of other energy resources.

Risk assessment is commonly defined as the scientific process in which the risks posed by inherent hazards involved in the process or situations are estimated either quantitatively or qualitatively. Therefore, to understand multi-risk assessment, one needs to have a clear the distinction between hazard and risk. In general terms, hazard is defined as the potential to cause harm, whereas, risk is commonly defined as the combination of the probability, or frequency, of occurrence of a defined hazard and the magnitude of the consequences of the occurrence.

We work on risk assessment with a Multi-hazard/Multi-risk approach, whose main goal is to harmonize the result obtained for different risk sources also taking into account possible risk interactions. Such Multi-risk Analysis may take into account both events threatening the same elements at risk without chronological coincidence - “Multi-Hazard assessment” -, and/or related events (depending one to another or caused by the same triggering event), thus occurring at the same time or shortly following each other – “Multi-risk assessment” - (European Commission 2010). In other words, such analysis is useful both to assess different (independent) hazards threatening a common set of exposed elements and to identify and assess possible interactions and/or cascade effects among different possible hazardous events.

Science Communication

Today, more than ever, it is necessary to study and improve science communication techniques, both by re-evaluating student evaluation of meaning and relevance in science (Science Capital Teaching Approach) and by deepening the evaluation techniques of dissemination and communication activities with a scientific approach (Evidence Based Science Communication).

For this reason the GeoSismoLab has included this new area of focus in its research activities.


The GeoSismoLab is used to develop thesis for Bachelor's and Master's degrees, as well as for internships and laboratory experiences for small groups of students in Physics and Environmental Sciences. In particular:

  • Laboratory Experiences (MSc Degree in Physics and/or Environmental Sciences - 1st year) involving the acquisition in the field, analysis and interpretation of:
    • Noise measurements
    • Active seismic measurements
    • Geoelectric measurements
  • Bachelor Thesis (Bachelor Degree in Physics and/or Environmental Sciences)
    • Early warning systems in the seismic field
    • Risks related to geo-resource exploration
    • Science Communication & risk perception
  • Master Thesis (MSc in Physics and/or Environmental Sciences)
    • Applications of seismic tomography in tectonic, volcanic and geothermal areas
    • The use of machine-learning techniques in environmental geophysics
    • Multi-risk Analysis
    • Science Communication & risk perception
  • International internships
  • Compulsory internships (Bachelor Degree in Physics and/or Environmental Sciences)
    • Seismic signals
    • Localisation of a seismic event
    • Science Communication & risk perception



H2020 - CORE (Coor.)

The project CORE - sCience and human factOrs for Resilient sociEty, funded by the European Commission, officially starts on Thursday, September 30 and Friday, October 1, 2021 and its main objective is to create, through a trans-disciplinary collaboration between scientific and humanistic areas, social communities better prepared to face and overcome disasters, defining the expected scenarios and the difficulties of individuals and socio-economic structures, in order to make the recovery more effective and efficient, but also paying particular attention to the most vulnerable groups: disabled, elderly, people in economic difficulty, women and children.

Starting from different case studies (earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, terrorist attacks, industrial accidents, Covid-19), the project will provide solutions to populations on how to prepare for, cope with and overcome the effects of devastating events. Great attention will be paid to education in schools, training activities, and communication through social media. One of the challenges of the project will be to create an APP that will provide the population with useful information on how to behave in emergency situations and increase their level of preparedness.

The project, coordinated by prof. Paolo Capuano, Professor of Geophysics at the Department of Physics, University of Salerno, involves 19 international institutions including research organizations, universities, ministries, municipalities, emergency and humanitarian associations. CORE will strengthen collaborations with Italian institutions and will promote future synergies with European and non-European institutions involved.


(Methodologies for the AssessmenT of anthropogenic environmental hazard: Induced Seismicity by Sub-surface geo-resources Exploitation).

The MATISSE project aims to develop and implement the necessary technologies to identify and quantify the risks related to induced seismicity. Anthropogenic earthquakes are one of the major impacts related to the exploitation of geo-resources. Operations involving fluid injections during industrial activities, such as oil, gas and geothermal exploitation, very often induce microseismic activity, and under certain circumstances, end up re-activating existing faults, causing events of significant magnitude. A multi-hazard approach will be developed in order to assess the negative environmental effects caused by subsurface exploitation of geo-resources. Fracking (hydraulic fracturing, a process that stimulates the production of very compact clay formations) and injection of fluids and waste water (associated with either the stimulation or production processes) have been identified as the two main operations conducted in the context of subsurface geo-resource exploitation. Coordinator: Paolo Capuano.


Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center - EMSC (FR)

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich - ETHZ (CH)

German Research Center for Geosciences - GFZ (DE)

Hanken School of Economics - HANKEN (FI)

International Institute for Applied System Analysis - IIASA (AT)

Institut de Science et Ethique - ISE (FR)

Institute for Sustainable Society and Innovation - ISSNOVA (IT)

Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - INGV (IT)

Johannes Gutenberg University (DE)

MTO Safety - (SE)

National Science Centre - NCN (PL)

Public Safety Coomunication Europe - PSCE (BE)


SAHER Europe - (EE)

The College of Law and Business - CLB (IL)

Università della Calabria - UniCal (IT)

Università di Napoli Federico II - UniNa (IT)

Università del Sannio -UNISAnnio (IT)

University of Aberdeen - (UK)

University of Huddersfield - HUD (UK)


H2020 - S4CE (Part.)

H2020 - SHEER (Coor.)

FP7 - CLUVA (Coor.)


The GeoSismoLab is very dedicated to science communication, contributing with several innovative activities aiming to introduce students but also ordinary people to Earth Sciences. We make large use of social media (Twitter, Instagram, ResearchGate) to promote our activities (#MeetTheTeam) and explain in plain language geophysics tips (#GeophysicsForEveryone).

The GeoSismoLab is involved in local and national projects:

  • Piano Lauree Scientifiche (PLS), a project promoted by the Italian Ministry of University and Research, aimed to guide high school students to choose a degree course and to showcase lab activities for each department. Students visiting our Lab can feel like a geophysicist for a few hours, solving puzzles such as the location of an epicenter and its magnitude. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we also introduced an Escape-Room, to help solve puzzles online.
  • Futuro Remoto, meeting with high schools at Città della Scienza, in Naples. Usually our Lab is involved in several activities together with the Università di Napoli Federico II, Università del Sannio and Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.

The GeoSismoLab also promotes new activities:

  • GeoBites, meetings occurring in pubs, where part of the dinner is devoted to explain, using plain language, accessible to everyone, a geophysical topic (e.g Marsquakes, Climate Changes) chosen by the audience on our social media.