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Earthquake prediction research in a natural laboratory-two

Objective



Earthquake Prediction Research in a Natural Laboratory - Two, is a two - year multidisciplinary project with the main objective to provide knowledge about earthquakes and related earth processes which can be a basis for reducing earthquake risk. This project is proposed in order to respond to the increasing requests from society, engineers, city planners and rescue teams for improved knowledge on where a destructive earthquake is likely to take place, how large it will be and when it is likely to occur. None of these requests are easy to fulfill. Making use of all relevant information about earth processes may bring us closer to solutions. It is significant to understand better the physical processes leading to earthquakes, and for that multidisciplinary approach is necessary.

To analyze and monitor the physical processes involved, we take advantage of state-of-the-art technology and monitoring systems available in Iceland and of the involvement of scientists from 7 European countries which have carried out pioneering work in the fields of seismology, deformation, geophysics and geology. The project is a continuation of the PRENLAB project (ENV4-CT96-0252) which ends in February 1998. This is a new project using results from PRENLAB as a basis. The project also takes advantage of the SIL earthquake prediction project of the Nordic countries (1988-1995) when the basic seismic acquisition and evaluation system was created.

The Mid-Atlantic plate boundary in Iceland is the test area for the project. It is composed of rift zones and transform zones. The well-exposed faults and fissures in Iceland can reveal the tectonic forces generating the earthquakes through a long period of time. Techniques have been developed to map active faults at depth and trace their motions by studying the microearthquakes that this motion releases. Borehole monitoring helps to provide crustal rheological properties which are needed for modelling the faulting and earthquake processes.
The activity of the Iceland hotspot below the center of Iceland provides time variable stresses which can be used as an imput to study how stresses are transmitted in the crust.

Through history earthquakes of magnitude 7 have frequently caused catastrophes in Iceland. By understanding which ground motions are to be expected it is the hope that risk can be reduced. The lessons learned in Iceland can help to advance work in the same direction at other places, in Europe and elsewhere.

Within this project steps are taken to cooperation in another risk areas of Europe to export the technology developed in the Iceland Natural Laboratory.

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,Dunhagi 3
107 Reykjavik
Uppsala University
Sweden
Address
16,Villavägen 16
752 36 Uppsala