2016 Central Italy Earthquakes: comparison between GPS signals and low-cost distributed MEMS arrays
Modern seismic ground-motion sensors have reached an excellent performance quality in terms of dynamic range and bandwidth resolution. The weakest point in the recording of seismic events remains spatial sampling and spatial resolution, due to the limited number of installed sensors. A significant improvement in spatial resolution can be achieved by the use of non-conventional motion sensors, such as low-cost distributed sensors arrays or positioning systems, capable of increasing the density of classical seismic recording networks. In this perspective, we adopted micro-electro mechanical system (MEMS) sensors to integrate the use of standard accelerometers for moderate-to-strong seismic events. In addition, we analyse high-rate distributed positioning system data that also record soil motion. In this paper, we present data from the 2016 Central Italy earthquakes as recorded by a spatially dense prototype MEMS array installed in the proximity of the epicentral area, and we compare the results to the signal of local 1s GPS stations. We discuss advantages and limitations of this joint approach, reaching the conclusion that such low-cost sensors and the use of high rate GPS signal could be an effective choice for integrate the spatial density of stations providing strong-motion parameters.