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European Seismic Hazard Map

edited by D. Giardini, J. Woessner, and L. Danciu, Swiss Seismological Service, ETH Zurich, August 2013

Europe has a long history of destructive earthquakes, and seismic risk can severely affect our modern society, as recently shown
by the 1999 Izmit (Turkey) and the 2009 L’Aquila (Italy) events. Seismic hazard defines the likelihood of ground shaking associ-
ated with the occurrence of earthquakes. Assessing seismic hazard is the first step to evaluate seismic risk, the likelihood of
damage and loss for the area of interest depending on vulnerability factors (e.g., the type, age and value of buildings and infra-
structures, population density, and land use). High hazard does not necessarily imply high risk: frequent large earthquakes result Reykjavik
in high hazard but pose limited risk if they shake remote areas, while moderate earthquakes in densely populated areas may
entail high risk.
The collaborative project “Seismic Hazard Harmonization in Europe (SHARE)” was supported by the EU-FP7 to deliver the first-ever
complete, state-of-the-art hazard model, replacing older maps (ESC-SESAME, 2003). SHARE contributes its results as a regional
program to the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) program initiated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Develop-
The SHARE hazard results describe potential shaking associated with future earthquakes in Europe and serve as input for mitiga-
tion policies such as seismic risk assessment and earthquake-resistant design, covering single- and multi-storey buildings and
critical infrastructures such as bridges or dams. Through coordination at the European Union level, these hazard results will help
harmonize the next generation of national seismic hazard assessments and serve as a benchmark for the revision of the Euro-
pean seismic building code (EuroCode8). The data assembled by SHARE on earthquakes and faults will accelerate the generation
of new scientific and technical knowledge to improve seismic hazard assessment in Europe.

Earthquake History in Europe

Active Faults in Euro-Mediterranean Region
Strain Rate / [10-9/s] Slip Rate / [mm/y]

100 - 1000 1 - 10 10 - 50 0.1 - 0.5 65

5 - 10 0.05 - 0.1
10 - 100 0-1
1-5 0 - 0.05 60 MW < 4.5
0.5 - 1 Subducting plate
4.5 ≤ MW < 5.5
Helsinki ˚ 5.5 ≤ MW < 6.5

Oslo MW > 6.5




Edinburgh 35
Riga ˚

Belfast ˚

Copenhagen 40
Dublin −2

Vilnius 35˚
The map shows active faults and subduction zones in the Euro-Mediterranean region compiled for the SHARE Euro-Mediterranean ˚
Database of Seismogenic Faults (EDSF): active faults are differentiated by color from rapidly-slipping (red) to slowly-slipping −15
(violet), depicting the yearly rate of seismic slip on the fault (in mm/y); over 1,100 active faults have been mapped, covering more −10˚ 25˚
than 64,000 km of fault length. The background depicts the estimated rate of deformation of the Earth’s crust (in nanostrain/s) −5˚ 20˚
0˚ 15˚
from SHARE analysis of geologic and geodetic data. 5˚ 10˚
This map shows the distribution of earthquakes documented and recorded for the period 1000 - 2007 as compiled for the SHARE European Earthquake
Catalogue (SHEEC). Earthquakes are differentiated according to their moment magnitude. The catalogue lists more than 30,000 earthquakes with
moment magnitudes equal or larger than MW = 3.5 and includes uncertainty information on location and magnitudes.
London Amsterdam
Seismic Hazard Assessment Berlin

The SHARE seismic hazard is assessed with a time-independent, probabilistic approach, following three main steps:
We collect all the data to characterize the occurrence of earthquakes: we compile catalogues of past earthquakes, as documented Brussels
by their damaging effects through history and since 1980 with modern instrumental seismic networks (SHARE European
Earthquake Catalogue, SHEEC); we map active faults (such as the North Anatolian Fault) and subduction zones (e.g. where the
African plate sinks below the European plate) included in the European Database of Seismogenic Faults (EDSF); we model the
style and rate of deformation of the Earth’s crust as observed by the Global Positioning System. We then combine these data to
create models describing the distribution of future expected seismicity. Prague
We also compile the instrumental recordings of strong ground motions generated by past earthquakes. We use these recordings
to characterize the attenuation of seismic waves and to construct Ground Motion Prediction Equations (GMPEs) describing the
expected amplitude of the seismic waves as a function of magnitude, distance and regional geology. The most appropriate GMPEs
are selected by an independent panel of experts and calibrated for the SHARE strong ground motion databank.
We combine models of future expected earthquakes with GMPEs to generate maps of expected ground shaking in a given time Chisinau
period, with the related uncertainties. To fully characterize the hazard, SHARE maps different ground motion parameters (i.e., Vienna
ground acceleration from 0 to 10 seconds, ground velocity and displacement) for return periods ranging between 25 and 5,000
years (annual exceedance probabilities ranging from 10-1 to 10-4), covering the values needed for standard buildings (ground
motions expected in 100-475 years) as well as for critical infrastructures such as dams or bridges, which need to withstand higher Bern Budapest

ground shaking recurring only every 1,000-5,000 years. Using the GEM OpenQuake hazard engine, we compute the hazard for an
average rock condition (shear wave velocity Vs30=800m/s). We computed hazard curves, uniform hazard spectra and disaggrega-
tion results for more than 120,000 sites on-land within Europe and Turkey, spaced 10 km from each other.
The SHARE results do not replace the existing national design regulations and seismic provisions, which must be obeyed for
today's design and construction of buildings.

Map Content
The European Seismic Hazard Map displays the ground shaking (i.e. Peak Horizontal Ground Acceleration, PGA) to be reached or Sarajevo
exceeded with a 10% probability in 50 years. This reference value represents the shaking to be expected during the human life-
time in an standard building, corresponding to the average recurrence of such ground motions every 475 years, as prescribed by
the national building codes in Europe. It’s important to note that these values can be exceeded with a 10% probability every 50 Sofia

Lisbon Madrid
The ground shaking is expressed in terms of the unit gravitational acceleration g. The SHARE peak ground acceleration value Istanbul
across Europe range from 0g to over 0.5g. Low hazard areas (PGA≤0.1g) are colored in blue-green, moderate hazard areas in
yellow-orange and high hazard areas (PGA>0.25g) in red-black. Rome Ankara

Supported by the EU 7th Framework Program, SHARE brought together leading scientists from 18 research institutions and 12
countries from Europe, North Africa and Turkey: over 50 seismologists, geologists, geodesists, historians, earthquake engineers,
computer scientists, statisticians and outreach specialists formed the core team of the 4-year project, with more than 250 addi-
tional European experts participating in workshops, providing their expertise and data.
SHARE was funded by the EU-FP7 (2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 226967. Many institutions used additional national
and international funding sources to support the participation of their scientists. Athens
Maps were created using GMT (Wessels and Smith, 1991) and the poster assembled with Adobe Illustrator CS5.
Cite this map with: Peak Ground Acceleration [g]
D. Giardini, J. Woessner, L. Danciu, H. Crowley, F. Cotton, G. Grünthal, R. Pinho and L. Valensise and the SHARE consortium, SHARE
European Seismic Hazard Map for Peak Ground Acceleation, 10% Exceedance Probabilities in 50 years, doi: 10.2777/30345,
10% Exceedance Probability in 50 years Nikosia
ISBN-13, 978-92-79-25148-1. 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
Online access to SHARE products is provided through the project website and the European Facility for Earthquake Hazard and Risk
(EFEHR). Please find project information at www.share-eu.org and access data at www.efehr.org.
Low Moderate High Hazard