Surface Rupture Database

During the Paris meeting in october 2015 (see report), the SURE group agreed on a project to build a worldwide and unified database of earthquake surface ruptures. To try to account for relevant parameters that influence the nature, amount and complexity of this earthquake effects, a database structure (SURE) was agreed and the group decided to start the effort by compiling the existing datasets that usually contain basic information on surface displacement. In the future, the datasets of earthquake cases will contain information on other parameters like surface geology for instance.


Basically the SURE database includes

(1) observations and measurements of displacement at localities

(2) a set of fault segments that were activated by the earthquake.

The details on the SURE database, including a spreadsheet template, are available here: Template for implementation of the Surface Rupture Database (SURE)


The status (March 2017) of the database is as illustrated in the following Table. Most of the existing data from Japan* (Takao et al., 2012) and USA (Petersen et al., 2011) have been gathered and their addition in the defined structure is on-going. The table also lists past and recent earthquakes for which detailed datasets exist and will be added to the extent possible. Do not hesitate to contact stephane.baize@irsn.fr if you are interested in contributing to this database or for any additional information you may need. Please note that IRSN financial support for the on-going project, performed in collaboration with IPGP, will end October 2017.




*Note that the Japanese data provided by TEPCO are under copyright and their use needs to be accepted by IAEA.



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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)