The paper shows some interesting data on active tectonics in northern Apennines but the supporting data set seems a bit poor. Moreover, the arguments are exposed in a generic way and do not support completely the conclusions. The figures are not exhaustive to demonstrate recent fault activity, English is poor as well. Since the scientific approach and applied methods are fairly valid, I think that it should be resubmitted after major revisions. Other comments are annotated in the attached file.
One of the aims, I would say the main one, of this paper is to start a debate on the ground evidences of the strongest earthquake event of the Northern Marche region. No other authors worked on this topic because, I think, the evidence is very poor and do not allow to get quality data as well as the recent events (L’Aquila 2009, Norcia 20016).
This contribution is just the beginning of this study and wants to stimulate other researchers more experienced to bring their contributions. We are aware that this work is not exhaustive, and some part must be deepened and extended to a larger sector. Nevertheless, we tried to offer some new sight on the mapped structures in an extensional tectonic framework very similar to the one interpreted for the southern Marche region.
About English language, we have submitted to a professional (paid) language revision. Anyway, we will try to improve in a next version.
In this work, the Authors attempt to provide evidence of active tectonics along surveyed normal faults in central Apennines (Mt Nerone sector, Umbria-Marche regions) by gathering information from different approaches ( i.e., field survey, geomorphology, drone surveys, and ‘remote’ analysis of digital mapping). They integrate and compare the collected evidence with available geophysical data providing a re-interpretation of previously published seismic line and carrying on seismological analysis. They advance the possible association of the surveyed normal faults with recent seismicity as well as with one of the most energetic historical earthquakes that occurred in the sector, the 1781 Cagli (Mw 6.5), thus in the extensional seismotectonic setting of the central Apennines
The work addresses the interesting scientific question related to the possible activation of normal faults (hidden or not) eastward of the well-known Late Quaternary active extensional belt. The multidisciplinary methodology applied presents interesting potentiality to address the scientific problem in a sector (easterly of the Apenninic topographic high) where other ‘subtle’ evidence of active tectonics has been provided in the literature (e.g., Ciaccio et al., 2005, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2005.05.027; Valoroso et al., 2017, doi.org/10.1002/2017JB014607).
Nevertheless, in reading the manuscript, I had regrettably to raise major concerns which I summarize mainly in a lack of robust data in supporting the Authors’ interpretations and conclusions. This aspect combines with a quite surficial dissertation of the scientific problems (relevant to the paper’s topic) that are generically introduced and not adequately presented and investigated.
Technical comments mainly relate to Figures which are not exhaustive and helpful to point out the evidence of fault activity in the Late Quaternary. The language is not fluent and adequate for publication standards.
For these reasons, and notwithstanding the scientific question addressed by the work would be within the scope of SE, the manuscript is not ready for publication in its present form. I thus recommend major revisions before re-submission.
In the following, I detailed more specific comments and suggestions the Author may want to consider for the revision process.
Most of these comments and minor (technical) ones are also annotated in the pdf I have enclosed for this discussion.
We thank a lot this anonymous reviewer, because his/her work is very detailed and could give us the opportunity to improve our work. He/she highlighted quite well the weaknesses of our paper. However, we could reply that this attempt of find the traces of an historical earthquake in this setting is based on some evidences not always very clear because erased and hidden by the time.
One of the aims, I would say the main one, of this paper is to start a debate on the ground evidences of the strongest earthquake event of the Northern Marche region. No other authors worked on this topic because, I think, the evidence is not so clear and it do not allow to get quality data as well as the recent events (L’Aquila 2009, Norcia 20016).
This contribution is at the beginning and it wants to stimulate other researchers more experienced to bring their contributions. We are aware that this work is not exhaustive, and some part must be deepened and extended to a larger sector. Nevertheless, we tried to offer some new sight on the mapped structures in an extensional tectonic framework very similar to the one interpreted for the southern Marche region.
We think those are the main reasons why this paper could seem “weak” for the “lack of robust data” and “surficial” disserted.
Specific comments reply
Dear Dr De Donatis and coauthors,the outcome of the review process is not positive, the reviewers rose serious criticisms both on the scientific aspect and the formal presentation and they recommended major revisions. The manuscript should be substantially improved to be considered suitable for publication in Solid Earth.I think that the reviewers made a good job and the revisions will provide a great guide for a revised manuscript. The provided suggestions are very important and must be taken seriously into account. I should be most grateful if you would consider these carefully, and develop and improve the manuscript accordingly.
Rita de Nardis
Dear Rita De Nardis,
we will try to improve the text according to the suggestions of the reviewers; for that need time to work on.
I hope you can wait up to december because the work in the paper fights against teaching and other projects time.
Please let us know which deadline you can propose. Thanks
Mauro De Donatis
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