Regional earthquake catalogues

Epicentres of the CENEC catalogue (Grünthal et al., 2009a)
Epicentres of the CENEC catalogue (Grünthal et al., 2009a)

Homogeneous earthquake catalogues with high-quality data over large areas and long time periods are rare. Bulletins from international seismological centres such as the International Seismological Centre (ISC), U.S. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) and European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) cover short time spans. A list of worldwide events by NEIC and the “standard” catalogue for Europe and the Mediterranean by Kárník (1996) have large time spans but are restricted by high size thresholds. Each of these catalogues is thus insufficient for, e.g., seismic hazard studies, especially in areas of low seismic activity, such as Europe north of the Mediterranean region.

Grünthal et al. (2009a) published a catalogue for central, northern, and northwestern Europe with unified Mw for events with Mw ≥ 3.5 in the time frame 1000-2004. This catalogue, which contains over 7,600 entries, is based on reliable data from over 30 national and regional catalogues and many special studies. A map of the epicentral distribution is shown above and the catalogue is available as CENEC 2008 Catalogue. The data have been scrutinized and beside homogenizing the magnitude from the different catalogues - for which regression relations between different magnitude types, and between magnitude and intensity, were established - identification and elimination of non-tectonic events, fake events, and duplicates from different catalogues have been performed.

In a special study, Grünthal et al. (2009b), the effectiveness of the homogenization of Mw for different local catalogues was investigated and found good in the vast majority of cases.

These catalogue activities are substantially supported by AonBenfield.

A previous catalogue for the same area, Grünthal and Wahlström (2003a, b), covers the years  1300 - 1993. This is available as G&W (2003) Catalogue. An extension to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region for Mw ≥ 4 earthquakes (EMEC) is in preparation.

References on Earthquake Catalogues and related studies:

Grünthal, G., Wahlström, R. (2009): A harmonized seismicity data base for the Euro-Mediterranean region. In: A. Oth (ed.) Proceedings of the 27th ECGS Workshop 'Seismicity Patterns in the Euro-Med Region', Luxembourg, November 17-19 2008, Centre Européen de Géodynamique et de Séismologie, 15-21.

Grünthal, G., Wahlström, R., Stromeyer, D. (2009) The unified catalogue of earthquakes in central, northern, and northwestern Europe (CENEC) - updated and expanded to the last millennium. Journal of Seismology, 13 (4), 517-541.

Grünthal, G., Stromeyer, D., Wahlström, R. (2009): Harmonization check on Mw within the central, northern and northwestern European earthquake catalogue (CENEC). J. Seismology, 13 (4), 613-632.

Grünthal, G., Wahlström, R. (2007): A unified database of large European earthquakes. Eos, Transactions 88 (6), 69 - 71.

Stromeyer, D., Grünthal, G., Wahlström, R. (2004): Chi-square regression for seismic strength parameter relations, and their uncertainties, with applications to an Mw based earthquake catalogue for central, northern and northwestern Europe. Journal of Seismology 8 (1), 143-153.

Grünthal, G., Wahlström, R. ( 2003a): An earthquake catalogue for central, northern and northwestern Europe based on Mw magnitudes. Scientific Technical Report STR 03/02, GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, 143 pp., Potsdam.

Grünthal, G., Wahlström, R. (
2003b): An Mw based earthquake catalogue for central, northern and northwestern Europe using a hierarchy of magnitude conversions. Journal of Seismology 7 (4), 507-531


Prof. Dr. G. Grünthal

Section 2.6
Seismic Hazard and
Stress Field

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