New Project funded: SHaKER (2022-2026)

A new coordinated project, composed by three subprojects led by fault2sha members of the Eastern Betics fautl2SHA-lab has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (PID2021-124155NB-C31).

Project Title: SHaKER, Seismic Hazard Knowledge for Earthquake Resilience

IPs: José A. Álvarez Gómez, José J. Martínez Díaz (UCM, subproject model_SHaKER), Carolina Canora (UAM, subproject paleo_SHaKER) and Alejandra Staller (UPM, subproject Geo_SHaKER)

The main objective of the SHaKER project is to advance in the knowledge of the seismogenic processes of seismic sources with the final objective of improving urban resilience to seismic disasters. To achieve this, we delve into the characterization of seismogenic source models with the integration and correlation of a number of disciplines in an interdisciplinar and multidisciplinar approach. To characterize the seismic sources we will use geological, geochemical, geotechnical, geodetic and geophysical data in addition to the development of numerical modelling and data analyses through machine-learning techniques. The numerical modelling will allow us to get insight into the complex, nonlinear, relations between the faults of the system, but also including external geological processes and tectonics in the long term evolution of fault systems.

These seismic source models are the basis for the development of new seismic and tsunami hazard and risk assessment studies, whose results will be essential to establish new proposals for improving urban resilience. The SHaKER project will help to estimate the faults seismic cycle and transient behaviours and characterize those seismogenic sources, including their kinematics and mechanical properties. These data will help us to quantitatively assess the sensitivity to uncertainties, thus contributing to reach the UN SDG11 in terms of the improved assessment of seismic risk, making the cities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. In concordance with this aim we will develop also better assessments of earthquake triggered slope instabilities, earthquake surface ruptures and liquefaction.

We will continue the studies carried out in previous projects in two seismically active and densely populated zones, with different tectonic behaviours and transcurrent faults of special interest: the Eastern Betic Shear Zone (EBSZ) and the El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ). The EBSZ is one of the areas with the highest seismicity in the Iberian Peninsula where the largest populations (Lorca, Totana, Alhama de Murcia) are located directly above the fault traces. The need for a detailed study of the behaviour and geological history of these faults became evident after the 2011 Lorca earthquake, moderate magnitude event that caused important damage. The ESFZ is a system of strike-slip faults with significant seismic activity and a medium to high deformation rate, aligned within the volcanic arc, where a large part of the country’s population is concentrated. In this case, we will try to improve the knowledge of the ESFZ in the less studied areas, expanding our study to the Nicaraguan and Guatemalan volcanic arcs (including the Jalpatagua fault).

The SHaKER project will be backed by a multidisciplinary research team made up of geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, mathematicians, civil engineers and geomatics engineers. This guarantees the integration and correlation of diverse data sources, as well as the establishment of different approaches to assess the seismic hazard and its relationship and influence on the seismic risk and future urban planning. The results of the project will help to reinforce the resilience of cities in terms of seismic risk, generating products and tools that will be useful for public institutions and decision-makers, who work in emergency planning before de disaster.