Section 2.1: "Earthquake Risk and Early Warning"
Head of Section: Prof. Dr. Torsten Dahm
Our goals and mission are to:
- Perform advanced research in the field of observational and theoretical earthquake and volcano seismology and related phenomena. Key questions concern the better understanding of the physics of earthquake sources, volcanic unrest, crustal deformation and the hazard posed by structural weaknesses as well as stress and pressure changes in the crust.
- Further develop and sustain the research center in earthquake and volcano seismology, serving the scientific community by the development and distribution of novel methods and software tools, advanced training and global database services including fast source parameter estimation, rapid monitoring and real-time seismology issues. The scientific reputation shall be sustained on the highest level in order to attract the best and most motivated young researchers.
- Inform the public and civil protection by appropriate publications, lectures, expert statements and other means about earthquake and volcanic unrest and related phenomena.
- The estimation of source parameters after strong earthquakes worldwide
- Numerical and theoretical modeling of magma and fluid migration in the crust, and the detailed study how volcanoes deform and how eruptions work
- The study of induced and triggered seismicity in mines and for other geotechnical operations
Seismic hazard and vulnerability assessment:
- The development of new methods to analyze the exposure of urban centers to earthquake ground motions, which are tested at megacities Istanbul (Turkey) or Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia).
- The integration of innovative remote sensing methods to assess changes in vulnerability and georisk over large areas in near-real time.
- Advanced approaches to assess the sediment behavior and local geology in urban environments.
Real-time seismology, event assessment and evaluation infrastructure:
- The development of instruments and non-centralized methods to warn before the arrival of strong seismic waves in case of a nearby earthquake.
- The development and implementation of a central node at GFZ in worldwide Testing & Evaluation efforts, for testing intensity and ground motion prediction equations and earthquake source inversions.
- Establishing operational procedures to rapidly assess extreme events and their consequences (see e.g. CEDIM)
We implement and test our methods and developments at different Plate Boundary Observatories (PBO) of the GFZ, for instance in Turkey, Chile or Central Asia, where we have installed local monitoring networks to study seismicity, ground motions and plate movements.
Section 2.1 founded and operated the German Earthquake Task Force from 1993 to 2010, with field missions after strong earthquakes worldwide. Since 2010, the rapid monitoring facilities at the GFZ are provided by several sections and station pools of the GFZ, and the Task Force is being implemented in the Helmholtz Network and in the European Project NERA. Our section, however, is further developing real-time seismology and automatic analyzing methods for rapid monitoring missions.
We further serve the scientific community providing open source software tools (continuous waveform processing, wave propagation, etc.), the estimation of earthquake source parameters together with GEOFON (section 2.4), and by running young scientist training courses in the field of seismology, volcanology and early warning. For instance, we organize and run the annual UNESCO training course on “Seismology and Seismic Hazard Assessment”.