The Sicily Channel, situated on the leading edge of the African plate as it collides with Europe, presents a range of interesting and complex tectonic processes that have developed in response to various regional stress fields. The characterization and interpretation of the seismic activity, however, still presents a challenge. The Maltese islands, lying approximately 100 km to the south of Sicily, are known to have been affected by a number of earthquakes in the Channel, with some of these events estimated to be very close to the islands. Yet, in the absence of nearby seismic instruments, an accurate evaluation and mapping of small magnitude seismicity, and, hence, the identification of unmapped active faults in the region, remains a challenge. This situation is being partially addressed through the deployment of more seismic stations on the Maltese archipelago. The Malta Seismic Network (MSN; International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks code ML, see Data and Resources), managed by the Seismic Monitoring and Research Group, within the Department of Geosciences, University of Malta, currently comprises eight broadband, three‐component stations covering an area of, approximately, 315  km2. Continuous seismic monitoring is possible following upgrades to real‐time data transmission and automated epicenter location, coupled with a virtual seismic network established through SeisComP3, and focused mainly on the Mediterranean region. Such a dense national network, besides improving epicentral location in the Sicily Channel, will provide valuable information on microearthquake activity known to occur in close proximity to the islands, which has been very difficult to study in the past. It will also provide opportunities to study shallow crustal structure, site response on different geological substrates, microseismic noise propagation, and effects of anthropogenic activities. Here, we give a technical description of the MSN and an appraisal of its potential.

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