Palaeoseismology: historical and prehistorical records of earthquake ground effects for seismic hazard assessment
K. Reicherter, A. M. Michetti, P. G. Silva Barroso, 2009. "Palaeoseismology: historical and prehistorical records of earthquake ground effects for seismic hazard assessment", Palaeoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Records of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment, K. Reicherter, A. M. Michetti, P. G. Silva
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This volume grew particularly out of two meetings held in 2006 (European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2006, Session TS4.4, ‘3000 years of earthquake ground effects in Europe: geological analysis of active faults and benefits for hazard assessment’, Vienna, Austria, April 2006; and the ICTP/IAEA workshop on ‘The conduct of seismic hazard analyses for critical facilities’, Trieste, Italy, May 2006) that brought together geoscientists who have explored and studied palaeoseismicity and its environmental effects in several parts of the world. This publication contains 18 papers based on a selection of presentations, and addresses a wide range of topics related to both a) palaeoseismological studies, and b) the assessment of a new macroseismic intensity scale based only on the natural phenomena associated with an earthquake, that is the ESI 2007 scale.
In 1999, during the 15th INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) Congress in Durban, the Subcommission on Palaeoseismicity promoted the compilation of a new scale of macroseismic intensity based only on environmental effects. A working group including geologists, seismologists and engineers compiled a first version of the scale that was presented at the 16th INQUA Congress in Reno in 2003, and updated one year later at the 32nd International Geological Congress in Florence (Michetti et al. 2004). To this end, the INQUA TERPRO (Commission on Terrestrial Processes) approved a specific project (INQUA Scale Project 2007). The revised version was ratified during the 17th INQUA Congress in Cairns in 2007. This revised version of the scale, which is
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Palaeoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Records of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment
Given the tremendous toll in human lives and attendant economic losses, it is appropriate that scientists are working hard to understand better earthquakes, with the aim of forecasting and, ultimately, predicting them.
In the last decades increasing attention has been paid to the coseismic effects on the natural environment, creating a solid base of empirical data for the estimation of source parameters of strong earthquakes based on geological observations. The recently introduced INQUA scale (Environmental Seismic Intensity–ESI 2007 Scale) of macroseismic intensity clearly shows how the systematic study of earthquake surface faulting, coseismic liquefaction, tsunami deposits and other primary and secondary ground effects can be integrated with “traditional” seismological and tectonic information to provide a better understanding of the seismicity level of an area and the associated hazards. At the moment this is the only scientific means of equating the seismic records to the seismic cycle time-spans extending the seismic catalogues even to tens of thousands of years, improving future seismic hazard analyses.
This Special Publication covers some of the latest multidisciplinary work undertaken to achieve that aim. Eighteen papers from research groups from all continents address a wide range of topics related both to palaeoseismological studies and assessment of macroseismic intensity based only on the natural phenomena associated with an earthquake.