The 3rd FEAR Annual Meeting was held in in Rome from 29-31 March 2023. The team of more than 50 participants, from the three beneficiary institutions - ETH Zurich, INGV Rome, RWTH Aachen - as well as members of the external advisory board and external collaborators, gathered to share their progress and discuss the next steps of the project, in particular, the details of the upcoming FEAR Experiment 1, scheduled to be conducted in October 2023.
The major developments since the last meeting included the selection of the MC fault as the target fault zone, the extensive characterization/prospection campaign centered around the MC fault, and the decision to drill the FEAR tunnel to the right of the Bedretto tunnel, with Experiments 2,3, and 4 taking place to the right, and locating Experiment 1 to the left of the Bedretto tunnel to minimize the probability of triggering the magnitude 1 FEAR main shock before the full monitoring system is in place. In addition, numerical models are being developed to investigate how to trigger ruptures on a nominally strengthening fault. The detailed design of the multidisciplinary FEAR monitoring system, which will collect observations from fault processes at unusually close distances, is being further refined.
The breakout sessions of the meeting were focused on how to characterize and model the target MC fault zone and how to instrument and activate the MC fault zone for FEAR Experiment 1. Members of the external advisory board provided valuable feedback and insight. The poster sessions provided opportunities for researchers to have more in-depth discussions and get feedback on specific details of their work.
In keeping with tradition, the program included some fun and entertainment to balance out the full and intense days. Stewardship certificates for the 15 boreholes drilled in the last year were distributed. The FEAR band performed during an apero on the hotel rooftoop, with a beautiful spring evening in Rome as the background. At the end of the meeting, a geology-seismology walking tour took the participants through Rome, highlighting how geology drove the development of the city and showing signatures of past seismicity on ancient buildings.