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Paleoseismology sessions at the XIX INQUA 2015, Nagoya, Japan

The EEE Metrics Project & IFG Paleoseismology and Active Tectonics will host two paleoseismology sessions at the XIX INQUA 2015 in Japan. The congress will be held in Nagoya from 27 July – 2 August. Deadline for abstract submission and travel grant application is 20 December, 2014, deadline for early bird registration is 28 February 2015.

  • Paleoseismology and EEE parameterization for seismic hazard analyses (session TERPROT05)
  • Quaternary research on past seismic records (TERPROT06)


Session Paleoseismology and EEE parameterization for seismic hazard analyses

Long title

Paleoseismology and Earthquake Environmental Effects Parametrization: Relationships between source parameters and ESI-07 Intensity for seismic hazard analyses


Pablo. G. Silva, Luca Guerrieri, Stephane Baize


This session is supported by the INQUA Focus Group on Paleoseismology and Active tectonics and will be to closing meeting of the 1229 INQUA Project on Earthquake Environmental Effects (EEE) parameterization. The session will enhance the presentation of contributions aiming at the implementation of empirical relationships between the ESI-2007 Intensity and other source parameters for recent, historical and paleoseismic events, which is a crucial goal in seismic hazard assessment in a close future (e.g. Papanikolaou, 2011). The Earthquake Environmental Effects (both primary and secondary) amplitudes and spatial distribution for recent earthquakes with instrumental records can be used to calibrate the ESI-07 Scale in terms of source parameters, by means of the implementation of quantitative or semi-quantitative approaches and mapping. Thus, these source parameters (such as magnitude, depth) of paleoearthquakes could be conversely estimated from geological evidences. The importance of the Earthquake Environmental Effects (EEE) in seismic hazard assessment had been emphasized by previous authors, in order to cover the weakness of “classical” scales that estimate intensity relying only on man-made structures. They represent a more refined estimation of seismic hazard. In addition, the recent strong damaging events such as 2008 China (Mw 7.8), 2010 Chile (Mw 9.1), and 2011 Japan (Mw 9.0), but also the moderate ones like the 2009 L’Aquila (Mw 6.3), 2010 Haiti (Mw 7.0), 2011 Christchurch (Mw 6.2), 2011 Lorca (Mw 5.1) and both 2012 Emilia-Romana (Mw 6.0) led to extensive and strong EEE. Even for some of these, they were the sources of most of the destruction and/or causalities: tsunamis (Chile, Japan), liquefaction (New Zealand), landslides (China) and surface faulting (China), were the most damaging environmental coseismic processes. Also in some of these events geological record of previous damaging earthquakes and related active faults were available, but not properly included in the running seismic hazard analyses, including those related to critical facilities such as NPP (i.e. Fukushima Daiichi). EEE analyses will provide multiparametric evidence of earthquake intensity independently of the recorded or estimated earthquake moment magnitudes, These analyses could also be used alternatively to those running the commonly used empirical approaches relating the earthquake size to the fault length and coseismic displacements, especially when secondary effects such as liquefaction, landslides or tsunamis have a widespread representation in the historical and Holocene records.

Session Quaternary research on past seismic records

Long title

Quaternary research on past seismic records: Earthquake Geology and Archaeology.


Klaus Reicherter, Ioannis Papanikolaou, Frank Audemard


Quaternary Sciences are in the core of the investigation and interpretation of past seismic records. During the past few decades the geological and archaeological analysis of paleoseismic records and evidences provided a growing geochronological information on a wide variety of Holocene to Late Pleistocene environments as well as valuable robust information to interpret the role of evolving seismic landscapes in past societies from multidisciplinary approaches (e.g. history, archaeology, geology, geomorphology, soil science, remote sensing, etc.). The assessment of the maximum earthquake (MQ) that can experience any tectonically active or stable continental region is normally out of the presently running seismic data-bases based on historic and instrumental data which hardly surpass one thousand years for most of the globe. For this reason, paleoseismology and archaeoseismology open longer-term temporal windows recorded in the Late Quaternary Geology and Geoarchaeology, looking for primary and secondary effects of the earthquakes. These can be used to evaluate the timing and size of the MQ that can be experienced in any region and estimate the impact of and spatial distribution of secondary effects (expected contribution to damage) in the affected areas. This session, supported by the IFG on Paleoseismology and Active tectonics, encourage the presentation of contributions on multidisciplinary studies of paleoseismic and/or archaeoseismic cases related to surface faulting, coastal uplift, tsunamis, extensive liquefaction, large landslides or the variety of Earthquake Environmental Effects considered in the ESI-07 Scale. Contribution focusing on the existing variety of methodological aspects (fault trenching; geophysics; imagery; etc.) or innovative theoretical approaches will be also welcomed.


Another session on paleoseismology is organized by the TERPRO and focusses on active tectonics in Asia:

Session Active tectonics, active fault and paleoseismological researches in Asia


Hisao Kondo, Hiroyuki Tsutsumi, Nobuhiko Sugito, Koji Okumura


Recent development of researches on active tectonics, active faults and paleoseismology is rapid and significant in combination with advancement of high-resolution digital elevation models, high-precision chronology and high-resolution geophysical explorations. Yet the data obtained from these researches are still insufficient both in quality and quantity to be utilized by other related scientific communities and by the public. To overcome the situation, sustainable efforts to acquire high-resolution data on geomorphological and geological characteristics of active tectonics in the Quaternary period are essential to understand the current tectonic movement and to contribute long-term forecast of tectonic environmental changes in the time scale of a few hundreds years to million years. These recent progress and achievements include detailed mapping of active faults, refinement of earthquake recurrence models, and characterization of three-dimensional fault geometry at depth. Such field methods and present understanding of active tectonics have potential to be commonly applied to various Asian countries, one of the most tectonically active regions on the earth, even though the tectonic setting differs from country to country. Therefore, regionally wide perspective in active tectonics and related fields should be shared by scientific communities. We propose this session to invite contributions on such recent progress on high-resolution data acquisition and better understanding of active tectonics, active faults and paleoseismological researches. We also welcome application studies based on numerical simulations and comparative studies in broader perspectives over tectonically active regions.


We are looking forward to seeing you in Nagoya!

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Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and is looking for ancient earthquakes.

See all posts Christoph Grützner

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