Giancarlo Neri, Full Professor of Geophysics
Barbara Orecchio, Associate Professor of Geophysics
Debora Presti, Associate Professor of Geophysics
Cristina Totaro, Research fellow
Silvia Scolaro, PhD student

  • Seismic tomography of lithosphere and upper mantle.
  • Implementation of new methods for earthquake location, moment tensor inversion and seismic tomography.
  • Earthquake focal mechanism computation by seismic waveform inversion.
  • Seismogenic stress and seismic strain tensor estimates.
  • Joint analysis of seismological, geophysical and geological data for modeling of seismotectonic and geodynamic processes.
  • Seismogenic source detection and geometric, kinematic and dynamic characterization.
  • Seismic hazard and risk estimates.
  • Strong earthquakes and tsunamis in the Central Mediterranean region.

The Research Team “Geophysical sciences” works in close cooperation with many national and international partners. Some collaborations are reported below.

  • The Team (through Unime) is Promoter and Component of the “Interuniversity Center for Research on 3D-Seismotectonics” (CRUST, involving nine Italian Universities: Catania, Messina, Salerno, Roma Tre, Perugia, Chieti, Bologna, Ferrara and Pavia. CRUST is an Italian Interuniversity Center founded in 2016 and aimed to promote research and teaching in the field of Seismotectonics. Responsible of CRUST for Messina University is Prof. Barbara Orecchio also member of the Academic Board of CRUST.
  • Scientific cooperation with the St. Louis University focused on the implementation and application of waveform inversion algorithms for seismic moment tensor estimates.
  • Scientific cooperation with the Columbia University NY (team of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory) focused on development of high-resolution locations of seismic sequences and joint evaluation of seismic, geophysical and geological data for seismotectonic interpretation.
  • Scientific cooperation with Universities of Granada and Barcelona for analyses of seismograms relative to strong earthquakes occurred in the pre-digital epoch.
  • Scientific cooperation with the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics of Novosibirsk for seismic tomography studies.
  • Scientific cooperation with Malta University on earthquake mechanisms and geophysical research applied to seismic risk mitigation.
  • Cooperation with the Universities of Catania, Parma, Roma Tre and the Institute CNR-ISMAR of Bologna in the frame of Italian National Project PRIN 2010-2011 "Active and recent geodynamics of Calabrian Arc and accretionary complex in the Ionian Sea".
  • Cooperation with the Universities of Calabria and Chieti in the Project INGV-DPC funded by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology and the Italian Civil Protection Department, 2014-2015, "Base-knowledge improvement for assessing the seismogenic potential of Italy".
  • Cooperation with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the framework of the EC Project INTERREG III B ARCHIMED, 2006-2007, “Development of an Information System for Natural Risk Management in the Mediterranean”, SYNARMA.
  • Cooperation with the University of Catania, the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology and several private partners in the framework of the Project PO-FESR Sicilia 2007-2013 "Attività di sviluppo sperimentale finalizzata alla riduzione del rischio sismico nella Sicilia Orientale".


  • Presti, D., Neri, G., Orecchio, B., Scolaro, S., Totaro, C. (2017), The 1905 Calabria, southern Italy, earthquake: Hypocenter location, causative process, and stress changes induced in the area of the 1908 Messina straits earthquake, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 107, 6, 2613-2623, 10.1785/0120170094.
  • Orecchio B., Aloisi M., Cannavò F., Palano M., Presti D., Pulvirenti F., Totaro C., Siligato G., Neri G., (2017). Present-day kinematics and deformation processes in the southern Tyrrhenian region: new insights on the northern Sicily extensional belt, Italian Journal of Geosciences, doi: 10.3301/IJG.2017.01.
  • Totaro C., Kukarina E., Koulakov I., Neri G., Orecchio B., Presti D., (2017), Seismotomographic detection of major structural discontinuity along the plate boundary segment of Sicily, Mediterranean Sea, Italian Journal of Geosciences, doi: 10.3301/IJG.2016.14.
  • Brozzeti F., Cirillo D., De Nardis R.; Cardinali M., Lavecchia G., Orecchio B., Presti D., Totaro C., (2017), Newly identified active faults in the Pollino Seismic Gap, Southern Italy, and their seismotectonic significance, Journal of Structural Geology, 94, 13-31,
  • Polonia, A; Torelli, L.; Artoni, A.; Carlini, M.; Faccenna, C.; Ferranti, L.; Gasperini, L.; Govers, R.; Klaeschen, D.; Monaco, C.; Neri, G.; Nijholt, N.; Orecchio, B.; Wortel, R. (2016). The Ionian and Alfeo-Etna fault zones: New segments of an evolving plate boundary in the central Mediterranean Sea?Tectonophysics, 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.03.016
  • Totaro C., Orecchio B., Presti D., Scolaro S., Neri G., (2016). Seismogenic stress field estimation in the Calabrian Arc region (south Italy) from a Bayesian approach, Geophysical Research Letters, 43(17), 8960-8969, 10.1002/2016GL070107.
  • Totaro C., Seeber L., Waldhauser F., Steckler M., Gervasi A., Guerra I., Orecchio B., Presti D., (2015). An intense earthquake swarm in the southernmost Apennines: fault architecture from high-resolution hypocenters and focal mechanisms, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 105(6), pp. 3121-3128.
  • Palano M., Schiavone D., Loddo M., Neri M., Presti D., Quarto R., Totaro C., Neri G., (2015). Active upper crust deformation pattern along the southern edge of the Tyrrhenian subduction zone (NE Sicily): Insights from a multidisciplinary approach, Tectonophysics, Vol. 657, pp. 205-218.
  • Orecchio B., Presti D., Totaro C., D’Amico S., Neri G., (2015). Investigating slab edge kinematics through seismological data: the northern boundary of the Ionian subduction system (south Italy), Journal of Geodynamics, Vol. 88, pp. 23-35.
  • Orecchio B., Presti D., Totaro C., Neri G., (2014). What earthquakes say concerning residual subduction and STEP dynamics in the Calabrian Arc region, south Italy, Geophysical Journal International, Vol. 199, pp. 1929-1942.
  • Totaro C., Koulakov I., Orecchio B., Presti D., (2014). Detailed crustal structure in the area of the southern Apennines-Calabrian Arc border from local earthquake tomography, Journal of Geodynamics, Vol. 82, pp. 87-97.
  • Totaro C., Presti D., Billi A., Gervasi A., Orecchio B., Guerra I. Neri G., (2013). The ongoing seismic sequence at the Pollino Mountains, Italy, Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 84, 6, pp. 955-962.
  • Minelli L., Billi A., Faccenna C., Gervasi A., Guerra I., Orecchio B., Speranza G., (2013). Discovery of a gliding salt-detached megaslide, Calabria, Ionian Sea, Italy, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 16, 4220–4224, doi: 10.1002/grl.50818.
  • D’Amico S., Orecchio B., Presti D., Neri G., Wu W., Sandu I., Zhu L., Herrmann R. B. (2013), Source parameters of small and moderate earthquakes in the area of the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake sequence (central Italy), Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 10.1016/j.pce.2013.02.005.
  • Presti D., Billi A., Orecchio B., Totaro C., Faccenna C., Neri G. (2013), Earthquake focal mechanisms, seismogenic stress, and seismotectonics of the Calabrian Arc, Italy, Tectonophysics,
  • Neri G., Marotta A.M., Orecchio B., Presti D., Totaro C., Barzaghi R., Borghi A. (2012), How lithospheric subduction changes along the Calabrian Arc in southern Italy: geophysical evidences, International Journal Earth Sciences, 101(7), 1949-1969.
  • Billi A., Faccenna C., Bellier O., Minelli L., Neri G., Piromallo C., Presti D., Scrocca D., Serpelloni E., (2011) Recent tectonic reorganization of the Nubia-Eurasia convergent boundary heading for the closure of the western Mediterranean, Bull. Soc. géol. France, 182, no 4, pp. 279-303.
  • Faccenna C., Molin P., Orecchio B., Olivetti V., Bellier O., Funiciello F., Minelli L., Piromallo C., Billi A., (2011).Topography of the Calabria subduction zone (southern Italy): clues for the origin of Mt. Etna, Tectonics, 30, TC1003, doi:10.1029/2010TC002694.
  • D'Amico S., Orecchio B., Presti D., Gervasi A., Zhu L., Guerra I., Neri G., Herrmann R. B., (2011), Testing the stability of moment tensor solutions for small earthquakes in the Calabro-Peloritan Arc region (southern Italy), invited paper, Bollettino di GeofisicaTeoricaedApplicata, vol. 52, n.2, pp. 283-298.
  • Orecchio B., Presti D., Totaro C., Guerra I., Neri G., (2011), Imaging the velocity structure of the Calabrian Arc region (Southern Italy) through the integration of different seismological data, invited paper, Bollettino di GeofisicaTeoricaedApplicata, vol. 52, n. 4, pp. 625-638.
  • Billi A., Minelli L., Orecchio B., Presti D., (2010), Constraints to the cause of three historical tsunamis (1908, 1783, and 1693) in the Messina Straits region, Sicily, southern Italy. Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 81, n. 6, 10.1785/gssrl.81.6.907.
  • Billi A., Presti D., Orecchio B., Faccenna C., Neri G., (2010), Incipient extension along the active convergent margin of Nubia in Sicily, Italy: Cefalù-Etna seismic zone, Tectonics, 29, TC4026, doi:10.1029/2009TC002559.
  • D'Amico S., Orecchio B., Presti D., Zhu L., Herrmann R. B., Neri G., (2010) Broadband waveform inversion of moderate earthquakes in the Messina Straits, southern Italy, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 179, 3-4, 97-106.
  • Billi A., Minelli L. M., Orecchio B, Presti D., (2009), Runup distribution for the 1908 Messina tsunami in Italy: observed data versus expected curves, Bullettin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 99, No. 6, pp. 3502–3509, doi: 10.1785/0120090128.
  • Billi A., Funiciello R., Faccenna C., Minelli L. M., Neri G., Orecchio B, Presti D., (2009), Reply to comment by Andrea Argnani et al. on "On the cause of the 1908 Messina tsunami, southern Italy", Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L13308, doi:10.1029/2009GL037499.
  • Neri G., Orecchio B., Totaro C., Falcone G., Presti D., (2009), Subduction Beneath Southern Italy Close the Ending: Results from Seismic Tomography. Seismological Research Letters, Vol. 80, 1, pp. 63-70, doi: 10.1785/gssrl.80.1.63.
  • Billi A., Funiciello R., Faccenna C., Minelli L. M., Neri G., Orecchio B, Presti D., (2008), On the cause of the 1908 Messina tsunami, Southern Italy. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L06301, doi:10.1029/2008GL033251. Included in GRL Editors’ Highlights.
  • Presti D., Orecchio B, Falcone G., Neri G., (2008), Linear versus non-linear earthquake location and seismogenic fault detection in the southern Tyrrhenian sea, Italy, Geophysical Journal International, Vol. 172, issue 2, 607-618, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03642.x.
  • Billi A., Presti D., Faccenna C., Neri G., Orecchio B., (2007), Seismotectonics of the Nubia plate compressive margin in the south-Tyrrhenian region, Italy: clues for subduction inception. Journal of Geophysical Research 112, B08302, doi:10.1029/2006JB004837.
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