Databases for active faults are a major input for seismic hazard assessment and have been widely developed in several countries (such as USA, Japan, Italy and New Zealand). Despite the fact that Greece is the country of highest seismicity in Europe where almost 50% of the total seismic energy is realized, no official or unofficial active fault database exists. This is partly due to the fact that there are so many active faults that introduce a heavy workload, whereas several of them are also located offshore. This is particularly difficult for engineers since according to the latest the seismic building code that was released in 2000, no houses should be founded on active faults.
Such a detailed database has now been presented for Northern Greece by Sotiris Sboras who successfully defended his PhD at Ferrara University, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Riccardo Caputo (University of Ferrara) and Prof. Spyros Pavlides (University of Thessaloniki). His thesis is available on line in the following link:
Building up such a database is a painstaking process, it requires a detailed literature review, field-work experience and some expert judgment that inevitably introduces some subjectivity. Maintaining it and revising it, is a second difficult process. Each active fault database needs regular update and should be subject to change as new data and new interpretations become available, considering also that Earthquake Geology is a relatively new and emerging topic where such modifications are frequent.
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