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Earthquake-Prediction Research in a Natural Laboratory

Objective

Multidisciplinary approach to methods aiming at predicting earthquakes and reducing seismic risk. Development of methods for automatic extraction of all information available in modem microearthquake recordings. Combining this data, old seismological data and other geological knowledge, to interprete the tectonic processes leading to earthquakes.
Studies of paleostresses and faults, borehole loggings and various deformation monitoring. Improvement of the knowledge of the spatial and temporal relationships between earthquakes and other observable features associated with crustal deformation and plate motion.
Application of the acquired new knowledge to refine the existing warning system algorithms and to enhance hazard assessment.


A database will be developed for easy access of the multiplicity of data available for the main earthquake zones
of Iceland. Time and space patterns in the data will be investigated in order to find internatl relationships within
earthquake sequences, between foreshocks and main shocks and between earthquakes and other observable
changes. A new algorithm for absolute and relative location of microearthquakes will be adopted for enhanced
automatic analysis. Methods based on microearthquake source studies, for mapping of active crustal faults, for
estimating the local rock stress tensor and for monitoring fault movements will be further developed.
Preliminary tests will be carried out to monitor possible changes with time in crustal wave velocities. Stress
changes, before earthquakes, using seismic shear wave splitting, will be investigated and monitored. New
algorithms based on results of the microearthquake studies will gradually be introduced and tested in the existing
alert system. Repeated borehole loggings will be carried out to find the prevailing stresses and stress changes
and other rock physical parameters of significance for modelling earthquake sources. Satelite radar
interferometry, based on data from the European ERS-1 and ERS-2 satelites, will be used to study spatial
variation in deformation fields and continuous GPS measurements will be initiated to bserve short term
variations in deformation, e.g. premonitory to earthquakes. For the same purpose, evaluation of strian
measurements in boreholes will be continued. The formation and development of seismogenic faults will be
investigated in the field together with analytical and numerical studies to find the paleostresses which controlled
the plate boundary and how earthquake faults merged under such conditions. This will be compared with the
present day monitoring of stresses, fault movements and deformation. Theoretical analysis of faulting and
earthquake processes will be carried out to tie together results of the disciplines contributing information of
significance for earthquake prediction.
The main deliverables of the project are parameters and models of significance for understanding the physical
processes involved in large earthquakes and in the premonitory stage of earthquakes, together with algorithms
to be applied directly in existing alert systems. Information will be delivered about computer software developed
and on how to access the database which will be built under the project.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

ICELANDIC METEOROLOGICAL OFFICE
Address
Bustadavegur 9
Reykjavik
Iceland

Participants (8)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
14,Avenue Edouard Belin 14
31400 Toulouse
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
France
Address
4,Place Jussieu
75252 Paris
NORDIC VOLCANOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
Iceland
Address
50,Grensasvegur 50 University Of Iceland, Geoscience
108 Reykjavik
Stiftung Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam
Germany
Address
A 34,Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA
Italy
Address
6/2,Viale Berti Pichat 6/2
40127 Bologna
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
United Kingdom
Address
West Mains Road Kings Buildings
EH9 3JW Edinburgh
University of Iceland
Iceland
Address
3,Dunhaga
0107 Reykjavik
Uppsala University
Sweden
Address
16,Villavägen 16
752 36 Uppsala