Surface Rupture Database

In 2015 an international effort started to constitute a worldwide and unified surface co-seismic displacements database (SURE) to improve further fault displacements estimations. To date, two workshops have been held and discussions on how to build such a database started (see report and the section below). Outcomes from these discussions area: (1) the first is step should be to unify the existing datasets; and (2) the future database will include recent cases which deformation have been captured and measured with modern techniques. New parameters which are relevant to properly describe the rupture will also be required. This common effort would imply a large and open community of earthquake geologists to create a free and open access database.

Basically the SURE database includes

(1) Table of earthquakes with basic information,

(2) Table of slip measurements at various localities,

(3) Shapefiles of rupture segments that appeared at the surface during the earthquake.

This poster ( was presented in Barcelona in June 2019 and it illustrates the status of the database in Summer 2019. The database encompasses (in 2019) 45 earthquakes from magnitude 5 to 7.9, with more than 15,000 coseismic surface deformation observations (including slip measurements) and 56,000 of rupture segments. Twenty earthquake cases are from Japan, 15 from the USA, 2 from Mexico, Italy and New Zealand, 1 from Kyrgystan, Ecuador, Turkey and Argentina. Twenty four earthquakes are strike-slip faulting events, eleven are normal or normal-oblique, and ten are reverse faulting.

The database and companion paper have been submitted to Seismological Research Letters. Reviewers expect minor revision to make the database available in the journal (status: 25 july 2019).

Please contact if you are interested in contributing to this database or for any additional information you may need.


Fault Displacement Hazard Analysis Workshop in Menlo Park, USGS facility- Synthesis and Perspectives (8 and 9 December 2016)

by Stephane Baize & Oona Scotti (IRSN), Timothy Dawson (CGS), David Schwartz (USGS) and Francesca R. Cinti (INGV)

The Menlo Park workshop, organized by USGS, CGS, INGV and IRSN, aimed at bringing together researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders interested in the topic of fault displacement, to discuss issues pertaining to FDHA, and to develop a plan for moving FDHA research forward. The workshop was very successful in terms of the quality of presentations and discussions, as well as in attendance. It attracted more than 100 participants from 8 countries, 8 major infrastructure stakeholders, 11 universities, 12 government agencies and laboratories, and 17 geologic engineering consulting companies. One of the primary motivations of this workshop was to develop a community-sourced, worldwide, unified database of surface rupturing earthquakes with a rich list of parameters for the basis of empirical regressions used in FDHA. This database is currently in development within the framework of an International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) project (Surface Rupture during Earthquakes Database - SURE) and IAEA working group.

Take-away points

- There is broad interest, worldwide, in probabilistic estimates of the amount of slip and its distribution during future earthquakes for engineering design of infrastructure. Distributed deformation is a key concern, particularly for long baseline structures such as a pipelines, tunnels, and bridges.

- Worldwide researchers, especially from the US, Europe, Japan and New Zealand, are currently updating and compiling existing fault rupture data that will be incorporated into the SURE database.

- Following the Menlo Park meeting and the project dissemination, new fault rupture data from recent earthquakes have been provided by some of the participants, to feed the SURE database.

- The Database structure as well as additional fault parameters needed (like surface geology or structural complexity) for its implementation that were discussed in Paris at the first SURE database meeting were validated at the Menlo Park meeting.

- The US stakeholder community has identified potential funding partners (currently PEER [Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center] and PG&E [Pacific Gas and Electric Company]) for improving the Database with western US observations. The US initiative will soon nominate an Executive committee to guide and manage this research effort. The International community will participate in this as much as possible and, in parallel, will identify sources and request funding for its own activities.

For more information on the Menlo Park meeting:

- Minutes of the meeting, including a summary of the talks

- PDF files of the presentations (ZIP file - 200Mb)