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Seismicity, seismotectonics, and seismic hazard in the northern Rhine area

Klaus G. Hinzen and Sharon K. Reamer
Seismicity, seismotectonics, and seismic hazard in the northern Rhine area (in Continental intraplate earthquakes; science, hazard, and policy issues, Seth Stein (editor) and Stephane Mazzotti (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2007) 425: 225-242


The northern Rhine area covers an area of more than 40,000 km (super 2) and is one of the most important areas of earthquake recurrence in Europe north of the Alps. The Lower Rhine Embayment, a part of the northern Rhine area that extends over parts of western Germany, eastern Belgium, and the southern Netherlands, displays basin-like subsidence and, along with the Roer valley graben, has been the source of most of the historical and recent earthquake activity, particularly along the western border faults. Other important earthquake-prone areas include the Stavelot-Venn Massif and the Neuwied Basin, the latter of which is an area of periodically intensive micro-seismicity. Seismic instrumentation in the area has accumulated steadily since the early 1950s and presently consists of approximately 50 stations. Although the strongest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the region occurred in 1992 near Roermond, with a local magnitude of 6.0, studies of historical earthquakes, such as Vervier (1692) and Duren (1756), estimate macroseismic magnitudes of 6.8 and 6.4, respectively. Paleoseismic studies indicate that even stronger, surface-rupturing earthquakes have occurred during the Holocene. The recent M (sub L) 4.9 earthquake in Alsdorf in 2002 caused some structural damage and was preceded by several small earthquakes and was followed by several aftershocks. Seismic hazard evaluation is hampered by the sparse earthquake record. A hybridized instrumental and historical earthquake catalog compiled from events over the past 300 yr combined with seismotectonic aspects indicates a maximum magnitude of 7.0. A site-intensity map based on macroseismic intensities from the hybridized catalog identifies concentrations of recent activities in the western part of the Lower Rhine Embayment, east of the city of Aachen.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 425
Title: Seismicity, seismotectonics, and seismic hazard in the northern Rhine area
Title: Continental intraplate earthquakes; science, hazard, and policy issues
Author(s): Hinzen, Klaus G.Reamer, Sharon K.
Author(s): Stein, Setheditor
Author(s): Mazzotti, Stephaneeditor
Affiliation: Univrsity of Cologne, Earthquake Observatory Bensberg, Gladbach, Federal Republic of Germany
Affiliation: Northwestern University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Evanston, IL, United States
Pages: 225-242
Published: 2007
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 978-0-5137-2425-6
References: 93
Accession Number: 2008-040027
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
N50°30'00" - N51°30'00", E05°00'00" - E07°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Geological Survey of Canada, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200812
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