We focus in our section on the following central research topics:

  • We maintain and update the world stress-map database, design field experiments and develop 3D geomechanical-numerical models to quantify the state of stress of major faults, identifying potential earthquake scenarios for both induced seismic events and tectonic earthquakes.

  • We build earthquake catalogues and integrate the results of seismological analyses and paleoseismological investigations with geodetic and geological data to develop earthquake forecasts and hazard-oriented seismicity models.

  • We analyse strong-motions records and develop site-specific, physics-based, and data-driven shaking models (with a focus on urban areas and stable continental regions). We maintain and update region-specific ground motion characteristic models and provide access to up-to-date ground motion prediction equations valid for use in European seismic hazard assessment (Service for European Ground Shaking Models).

  • We compute seismic hazard assessments based on a consistent probabilistic treatment of all input data and the transparent evaluation of epistemic uncertainties

  • We develop methods to test the components and results of hazard models. We suggest novel approaches for the assessment of epistemic uncertainties and a priori sensitivity analysis of probabilistic hazard methods

  • We interact with the earthquake engineering community to contribute to the improvement of building codes. Our developments are contributing to multi-hazard assessments, integrated risk and early warning developments in urban areas.

  • We update our online services and products from our research results for end-users such as architects, insurance companies, banks and decision-makers.


Prof. Dr. Fabrice Cotton

Head of the Section 2.6
Seismic Hazard and
Stress Field

Helmholtzstr. 6, Room 211
T: +49(0)331 288 1125


PD Dr. Oliver Heidbach

Head of the Working Group
Analysis and Modelling of Crustal Stress

Helmholtzstr. 6, Room 302
Tel.:  +49(0)331 288-2814