Section 2.6: Seismic Hazard and Risk Dynamics


The WSM compiles globally information on the present-day stress field of the Earth's crust. The WSM database included 42,870 stress data records in its current release 2016. It is a collaborative project between academia, industry and government that aims to characterize the stress patterns and to understand the stress sources. The project commenced in 1986 as a part of the International Lithosphere Program; since 2009 the project is maintained and further developed at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

The overall objective of SERA is to improve the access to data, services and research infrastructures, and deliver solutions based on innovative research and development in seismology and earthquake engineering. It aims to reduce the exposure of our society to the risk posed by natural earthquakes and induced seismic events. Our team is in charge of the development of new methods to evaluate earthquakes activities and ground-shaking models.

EPOS-IP aims at creating a pan-European infrastructure for solid Earth science to support a safe and sustainable society. EPOS will enable innovative multidisciplinary research for a better understanding of the Earth’s physical and chemical processes that control, for example, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, ground instability and tsunami. Our team is in charge of the development of a new service dedicated to ground-shaking models (update of region-specific ground motion characteristic models and access to up-to-date ground motion prediction equations valid for use in European seismic hazard assessment).

Our team is in charge of the development of new methods to test and validate seismic hazard models results and components.

We explore the limitations of current earthquake forecast evaluation tests and develop new evaluation methods that allow for multiple forecasts to be combined into ensemble models. The resulting ensemble forecasts will be used to regularly update seismic hazard calculations, as well as evaluate current ground motion calculation methods and their concomitant parameter uncertainties.

Harmonize approach to stress tests for critical infrastructures against natural hazards.

Correct interpretations of historical key earthquakes are fundamental for reliable seismic hazard assessments. However, earthquake catalogues contain often false or inaccurate interpretations, and a systematic study on the historical damaging earthquakes is essential. With a research co-operation with the University Potsdam, Historical Institute, we investigate the key earthquakes and the medieval perception of catastrophes in the central European historical record.

The ultimate goal of the project is to develop, evaluate and apply a world-leading Earth system modelling infrastructure - leading into an Earth System Simulator - to provide solutions to grand challenges faced by the Earth and environmental sciences. Our contribution is to model the large scale thermo-mechanical processes that control the contemporary deformation pattern in central Western Europe on scales from 10 km 1000 km, and to link the result into a workflow of physics-based probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for low strain areas.

Recent dramatic events (e.g. Tohoku earthquake) have demonstrated that we are only at the beginning in understanding how faults behave. In the next decade, we will need to merge geological, geodetic and seismological information to better constrain future earthquake scenarios which will be shaking mega-cities like Istanbul located to major active faults.

The exponential increase of geodesic and seismological data in the last decade gives us a much more detailed picture of the evolution of deformation during the earthquake cycle. At the same time, our knowledge of the structure and rheology of the earth is being improved by geophysical exploration. The core objective of the project is to understand the processes of inter- and postseismic stress changes, and to incorporate these findings into a state-of-the-art probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Chile.

We contribute towards a better characterization of the kinematic setting of this key section of the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ). Given the recent activity on this topic the proposed task force will not start from scratch, but instead will build on extensive existing networks that were consolidated in the recent ILP period. In particular our networks involve key researchers from the disciplines such as experimental seismology, geomechanical modelling, fault-zone evolution, plate kinematics.

The Swedish Radiation Authority (SSM ) is the Swedish regulator for the process to build a deep geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. For the selected site Forsmark we model the impact of thermal and earthquake loads on the naturally fractured crystalline rock mass surrounding the repository and their association with complex geologic structures.

IMAGE is a project involving 20 partners from 9 different countries. Goal of the project is to develop an integrated geothermal exploration approach based on state-of-the-art scientific methods. Our contribution is to quantify the in-situ stress state across scales ranging from the entirety of Western Europe down to that of a single reservoir. To achieve this we analyse stress data from a wide range of stress indicators and use these to calibrate 3D geomechanical-numerical models that describe continuously the full 3D stress tensor.

In the course of the German change of energy policy, the mechanical requirements for underground gas storage will increase due to higher amplitude fluctuations during storage operations. For the assessment of site safety and the recommendation of suitable operating parameters, the impact of cyclic loads on the geological components of the storage facility are of key importance. We investigate of the interaction between the natural far-field stress field and the stress changes induced by the gas storage, with a the key motivation to assess the reactivation of disturbances and the resulting induced seismicity.

DESTRESS demonstrates methods of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The aim is to expand knowledge and to provide solutions for a more economical, sustainable and environmentally responsible exploitation of underground heat. DESTRESS will improve the understanding of technological, business and societal opportunities and risks related to geothermal energy. Existing and new project sites have been chosen to demonstrate the DESTRESS concept. The demonstration sites are using soft stimulation treatments to minimize environmental hazards.

SECURE aims to develop versatile monitoring, characterization and modeling tools for the sustainable use of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs and geothermal systems. Probabilistic approaches for the description and the development of microcracks will be implemented in order to image and model the stability and integrity of different reservoir systems.

Plans to construct hydroelectric dams in the Kyrgyz Republic and the need to assess the state of existing structures, especially with respect toearthquakes and landslides, requires structural and slope monitoring systems that provide information todecision makers in the event of emergencies. The MI-DAM project will developa robust, low-cost, and adaptable system that includes an early warning element and time-variable fragility functions.

The ESPREssO project, coordinated by AMRA Scarl, Naples, Italy and supported by Horizon 2020 “Natural hazards: Towards risk reduction science and innovation plans at the national and European level”, is setting out to contribute to a new vision for the mitigation of the effects of natural risk and climate change.