Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The earthquake risk and Europe

13.08.2012
Harmonized Earthquake Catalogue for Europe and the Mediterranean for the last millennium available for the first time

How strong can earthquakes in Germany be? Where in Europa are the earthquake activities concentrated? These questions are the basis for risk assessments and become relevant when it comes to the safety of buildings or the generation of tsunami.


GFZ-EMEC, all earthquakes Mw >3,5



GFZ-EMEC, all earthquakes Mw >6

For the first time, scientists of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences have succeeded in setting up a harmonized catalogue of earthquakes for Europe and the Mediterranean for the last thousand years. This catalogue consists of about 45000 earthquakes, reported in the latest issue of the „Journal of Seismology".

Earthquakes occur with different frequencies of occurrence, meaning that in some regions, strong earthquakes happen with time gaps of hundreds of years. Such rare events can cause a false feeling of security which belies the true risk. This is compounded by the fact that instrumental measurements only go back for roughly a century, and reliable data for smaller quakes for about half that long.

Thus, the only way to assess the actual risk is the analysis of historical earthquake accounts. „The catalogue that we present here covers the earthquakes of the last thousand years with magnitudes of Mw 3,5 and larger in the northern part of our research area and magnitudes Mw4,0 for the southern part", explains Dr. Gottfried Grünthal of the GFZ. „Our earthquake catalogue stretches over an area from the Azores to the Caspian Sea and from the Sahara to the North Cape." Based on some 80 mostly national earthquake catalogues, more than 100 other sources and own analyses of key historical earthquakes, the EMEC-catalogue (European-Mediterranean Earthquake Catalogue) offers the first reliable, regional, long-time database with a harmonized assessment of earthquake magnitudes.

In bringing together all these sources with their considerable differences in magnitude or intensity scales, particular care was taken to harmonize the latter in the form of moment magnitude Mw. The earthquakes in the EMEC are catalogued from 1000 AD bis 2006. In areas south of 40°N and east of 10°E the available data allow for an analysis starting from 300 AD. Of course these data are not complete, especially in the early phase of the catalogued time period.The point in time after which data for certain magnitudes can be assumed as sufficiently complete is very different within the research area. For example, earthquakes with a magnitude of Mw 6,5 and above in the Levant exist more or less completely since 300 AD, and earthquakes of Mw 5 and above since 1965. In Germany, the catalogue of earthquakes with Mw 5 and greater is sufficiently complete since about 1600.

„Part of the EMEC-publication is also a list of so-called fake-quakes, i.e. quakes that have been reported erroneously due to errors of the chroniclers, errors in dates or other mistakes", explains GFZ scientist Gottfried Grünthal. Importance was also attached to a user-friendly web page: „On the GFZ-EMEC-website, data can be downloaded according to the wishes of the users and epicentre maps can be generated, stored and printed in customized scales of time and space and map projections."

The EMEC catalogue provides a reliable basis for the risk assessment of earthquakes and quake generated tsunami. Moreover, it is a solid foundation for a whole range of other geoscientific research as well as a source for investigations outside of science.

Pictures in a printable resolution can be found here:

www.gfz-potsdam.de/portal/gfz/Public+Relations/M40-Bildarchiv/Bildergalerie+EMEC

www.gfz-potsdam.de/EMEC

Source: Grünthal G., Wahlström R. (2012) The European-Mediterranean Earthquake Catalogue (EMEC) for the last millennium. Journal of Seismology 16(3): 535-570, DOI: 10.1007/s10950-012-9302-y

F.Ossing | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gfz-potsdam.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>