During the last meeting of the Fault2SHA Group in Chieti (19-20/01/2023), we decided it was timely to establish a group for post-earthquake reconnaissance in the Euro-Mediterranean region (named POQER, see below). The idea is to promote an international cooperation, open and free, in the case of major earthquakes, with the goal to achieve homogenized datasets useful to the Earth Sciences community and Seismic hazard community.
Of course, the devastating seismic sequence that was going to take place a few weeks later in Turkey was not in our, or anyone minds. It happened when our organization is only beginning to be set up. Nevertheless, we wish to claim to our Turkish colleagues that we will be ready to collaborate with them when the time comes for field investigation, to cover the mapping of the vast areas affected by those two M7.5-7.8 earthquakes on February 6, 2023.
In the meantime, our hearts go out to the affected people and their families, and we hope they will overcome soon this terrible period.
Building up a POst-Quake Earth-sciences Response (POQER) group in the Euro-Mediterranean area
Following the 6th Workshop in Chieti (IT) – FAULT2SHA, we identified the need to create a POst-Quake Earth-sciences Response (POQER) for the Euro-Med region.
The purpose of POQER group is to foster rapid coordination across disciplines in the earth science community at the Euro-Mediterranean scale to help in mapping quickly as many erodible features as possible.
One of the key objectives of POQER is to feed unified databases of geological effects caused by earthquakes, primarily dedicated to surface ruptures. Such datasets would then be integrated in or contribute to existing efforts, such as the EEE and SURE databases of INQUA.
Moderate to large magnitude onshore earthquakes can create significant surface geological and topographical effects, whose mapping and analysis can inform about the physics of earthquakes and provide relevant information for seismic hazard assessment. The Euro-Med region has been affected by such events in recent times (e.g. 1999 Izmit, Turkey; 2004 Al Hoceima, Morocco; 2008 West Peloponnese, Greece; 2016 Norcia, Italy; 2020 Petrinja, Croatia) and most recently this week in Turkey. Although such events are rather infrequent, the geological community in the Euro-Med region would benefit from the creation of a POQER group.
The Fault2SHA group of the European Seismological Commission is an appropriate framework to build such a group, where an international network of interested researchers are already “connected”. The Fault2SHA network was indeed very helpful to set up an international collaboration in the wake of the29/12/2020 Mw 6.4 Petrinja, Croatia earthquake. The involvement of regional geoscientists played a key role in the Croatia case, ensuring a comprehensive geological picture of the event, and the contribution of trained earthquake geologists reinforced the expertise required to survey earthquake environmental effects. Rapid coordination was crucial to help in mapping quickly as many erodible features as possible. Geodesists and seismologist played a key role in guiding the field teams, thus they are welcome to join the POQER group.
National institution or group of national teams should be the leaders in coordinating the fieldwork. Beyond the Croatian example, experience shows the efficiency of a centralized coordination team, such as during the US earthquakes (e.g. 2020 Ridgecrest sequence: USGS/CGS) or the 2016 Norcia sequence (Open Emergeo/INGV). Live centralization of information, during the survey, would be ideal and could be done thanks to online resources. After such surveys, curation of datasets and construction of a common dataset (very time consuming) was made available to all survey participants, in the form of a joint publications (e.g.Villani et al., 2018 and Civico et al., 2018; Ponti et al., 2020; Baize et al., 2022). The POQER group will follow the same policy.
Volunteer willing to help prepare and/or physically participate to surveys, please fill out the following form. Please spread this message, using your mailing lists and preferably to covering all countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Stéphane Baize (IRSN, France), Yann Klinger (IPGP, France), Carolina Canora (Univ. Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
*contact: write to firstname.lastname@example.org to reach them all
If you are interested to be part of this initiative, please FILL THIS FORM before April 2023 (first call)
Refer to the contact persons for any additional information regarding this Fault2SHA initiative.
A first online meeting will be held after the 30 April 2023 to discuss in depth the project and the immediate actions required.