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Coordinated efforts to enhance earthquake risk evaluation and management

An EU initiative helped communities prepare for disasters by advancing seismic monitoring and early warning detection systems.
Coordinated efforts to enhance earthquake risk evaluation and management
Recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Haiti, Indonesia and Japan killed over half a million people, highlighting the need for better seismic hazard detection. In particular, potential earthquakes around the Marmara Sea threaten social and economic development in one of the most densely populated parts of Europe.

With this in mind, the EU-funded MARSITE (New directions in seismic hazard assessment through focused earth observation in the Marmara supersite) project aimed to prepare regions for geological disasters at a European level by coordinating research by seismologists, engineers and gas geochemists.

Project partners ensured the integration of data from land, sea and space. This data processing based on earth science research has shown to be an effective tool for mitigating damage from future earthquakes. To achieve this, they monitored earthquake hazards via ground-shaking and forecast maps, short- and long-term earthquake rate forecasting, and time-dependent seismic hazard maps.

The MARSITE team used different sensors in evaluating earthquake hazards. A borehole seismic observatory and a dilatometer were installed, and whose data can be used for various seismic studies. It updated the technical infrastructure of the continuous global positioning system network in Turkey's Marmara region with 22 such stations.

Researchers improved the seismic hazard assessment for Marmara and created a tsunami scenario database for the Marmara Sea. The area's existing earthquake early warning and rapid response systems were also enhanced.

Strong integration and links were established with major European initiatives, and results were widely disseminated.
MARSITE will help decisionmakers develop disaster mitigation policies in the high-risk Marmara region and improve the community's emergency response through public awareness. It will also advance global early warning detection systems since findings are applicable to other earthquake-prone areas. The project has already led to the improvement of existing policies and programmes on preparedness, risk mitigation and emergency management.

Related information


Earthquake, early warning detection systems, Marmara, MARSITE, seismic hazard assessment
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