It’s a common fact that there are more interesting papers, published on high-IF journals, than time to read them all.

Thus, here a section aimed to be a GIVE-ME-A-REASON-TO-READ list, not merely a paper gallery.

If you are a FAULT2SHA member, and if you believe that your paper fits the aims and themes of the ESC Working Group, please contact the web administrators to add your titles to the list.

References are sorted by the year of publication, and alfabetically by the first author. The list will be updated on a monthly basis.

Become a Fault2SHA member HERE, contact the web administrator HERE. Last update July 2020.


Gómez-Novell, O., Chartier, T., García-Mayordomo, J., Ortuño, M., Masana, E., Insua-Arévalo, J. M., et al.: Modelling earthquake rupture rates in fault systems for seismic hazard assessment: the Eastern Betics Shear Zone. Engineering Geology 265, 105452.

Iezzi, F., Roberts, G., Faure Walker, J.: Throw-rate variations within linkage zones during the growth of normal faults: Case studies from the Western Volcanic Zone, Iceland, Journal of Structural Geology, 133, 103977.

Keywords: Throw-rate, normal faults, Iceland

This study shows that fault throw-rate increases within fault bends in response to non-planar fault geometry are present at a range of stages of maturity of the bend and extends examples of this phenomenon to mid-ocean ridge settings. This suggests that extrapolating fault slip-rates and slip during past earthquakes through palaeoseismic, geomorphologic, geologic, and topographic techniques (among others) must consider the location of data collection in relation to the geometry of the fault.

Sgambato, C., Faure Walker, J., Roberts, G.: Uncertainty in strain-rate from field measurements of the geometry, rates and kinematics of active normal faults: Implications for seismic hazard assessment, Journal of Structural Geology, 131, 103934.

Keywords: slip rate, normal faults, seismic hazard

This study investigates how variability in throw-rates and slip-rates along a fault can change calculations of seismic hazard. In particular, detailed measurements of Holocene-Late Pleistocene fault throw-rates or slip-rates along a well exposed fault scarp in the southern Apennines, Italy, and inferred strain-rates across the fault show: (1) field structural data are fundamental to understand variations in slip-rate; (2) using only one measurement of slip-rate along a fault for calculating hazard is not advisable; (3) the potential error associated to the slip-rate variability should be implemented in seismic hazard calculations.

Valentini, A., Duross, C.B., Field, E.H., Gold, R.D., Briggs, R.W., Visini, F., Pace, B.: Relaxing segmentation on the Wasatch fault zone: Impact on seismic hazard, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 110(10), 83-109.

Visini, F., Valentini, A., Chartier, T., Scotti, O., Pace, B.: Computational Tools for Relaxing the Fault Segmentation in Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Modelling in Complex Fault Systems, Pure and Applied Geophysics,

Keywords: Northern Italy, seismic hazard, fault segmentation

Recent complex coseismic ruptures have shown the need to consider different possible combinations of rupture scenarios in PSHA. In this study, this paper presents two new methodologies that model rates of ruptures along complex fault systems, one based on a floating rupture approach and another one based on assumed rupture scenarios. They represent alternatives to a recently proposed approach and further step to overcome the segmented and un-segmented approaches commonly used in PSHA in Europe.


Baize, S., Nurminen, F., Sarmiento, A., Dawson, T., Takao, M., Scotti, O., Azuma, T., Boncio, P., Champenois, J., Cinti, F.R., Civico, R., Costa, C., Guerrieri, L., Marti, E., McCalpin, J., Okumura, K., Villamor, P.: A Worldwide and Unified Database of Surface Ruptures (SURE) for Fault Displacement Hazard Analyses, Seismological Research Letters, 91-1, 499-520.

Keywords: Fault Displacement Hazard, database, co-seismic fault displacement

Fault Displacement Hazard Analysis (FDHA) plays an important role in the risk assessment and design of both new and existing infrastructures, facilities or lifelines that are located across and near active faults. The primary objective of FDHA is to quantify the spatial distribution and amplitude of surface displacements and deformation caused by tectonic faulting. This kind of evaluation is primarily based on empirical relationships from historic fault ruptures. These relationships establish the likelihood of co-seismic fault displacements values, for on-fault (i.e. along the primary earthquake fault) and off-fault (i.e. distributed surface rupture off the primary rupture) displacements, for a given earthquake magnitude. However, the current equations are based on sparsely populated datasets, including a limited number of mainly pre-2000 events. In 2015 an international effort started to constitute a worldwide and unified surface co-seismic displacements database (SURE) to improve further fault displacements estimations. During two workshops in 2015 and 2016, discussions on how to build such a database started. Outcomes from these discussions were that (1) the first step is 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 in the future. This common effort would imply a large and open community of earthquake geologists to create a free and open access database. 

Chartier, T., Scotti, O., and Lyon‐Caen, H.: SHERIFS: Open‐Source Code for Computing Earthquake Rates in Fault Systems and Constructing Hazard Models, Seismological Research Letters, 90-4, 1678-1688.

Keywords: Code, Fault systems, earthquake rates, multi-fault ruptures

This article is meant to be a support for users of SHERIFS (Seismic Hazard and Earthquake Rate in Faults Systems). SHERIFS allows to model the earthquake rates on fault considering a system level approach, complex multi fault ruptures and background seismicity. SHERIFS is built to be flexible and to explore a large number of epistemic uncertainty for vastly different fault systems.

Iezzi, F., Roberts, G., Faure Walker, J., Papanikolaou, I.: Occurrence of partial and total coseismic ruptures of segmented normal fault systems: Insights from the Central Apennines, Italy, Journal of Structural Geology, 126, 83-99.

Keywords: fault segmentation, normal faults, Central Italy

Study of the long-term displacements across the 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake, Italy, fault and neighbouring faults reveals that these faults are behaving together so that the displacement across the system of faults looks similar to if it were one larger fault on ten thousand and million year timescales. This finding can help provide clues regarding the relative local seismic hazard between the different fault segments.

Meschis, M., Roberts, G., Mildon, Z., Robertson, J., Michetti. A.M., Faure Walker, J.: Slip on a mapped normal fault for the 28th December 1908 Messina earthquake (Mw 7.1) in Italy, Scientific Reports, 9, 6481.

Identifying which faults are capable of producing large magnitude events is critical for seismic hazard assessment. However, it is not uncommon that the fault responsible for known significant earthquakes, particularly those not in recent years, remains unconfirmed. In this paper, the fault responsible for the 1908 Messina, Sicily earthquake, the most deadly earthquake in Europe since 1900, has been identified using elastic half-space modelling and levelling data from 1907–1909. 

Mildon, Z., Roberts, G., Faure Walker, J., Toda, S.: Coulomb pre-stress and fault bends are ignored yet vital factors for earthquake triggering and seismic hazard, Nature Communications, 10, 2744.

Long-term stress loading on faults and stress loading from historical earthquakes in the central Apennines, Italy, is modelled using Coulomb Stress transfer over the time period covered by the historical earthquake catalogue. Investigating which faults have positive and negative stress within this model, reveals that 97% of large earthquakes within the central Italian Apennines from 1703-2006 occurred on faults which were positively stressed. This approach could be used to guide which faults are more likely and less likely to rupture in the imminent future. This is not the same as earthquake prediction – saying exactly when and where an earthquake will occur, but it is a step closer to better seismic hazard assessments and understanding why, how and when earthquakes occur, in particular in relation to how stress is changing on the faults in the region.

Valentini, A., Pace, B.. Boncio, P., Visini, F., Pagliaroli, A., and Pergalani, F.: Definition of seismic input from fault-based PSHA: remarks after the 2016 Central Italy earthquake sequence, Tectonics, 38-2, 595-620 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Central Italy, seismic hazard, microzonation input

In the last 10 years, central Italy has been struck several times by moderate to strong earthquakes, with Mw up to 6.5. This work focuses on how the advances in earthquake science that follow a large, deeply studied earthquake might be promptly combined with updated approaches of seismic hazard analysis to guide applicative choices for seismic risk reduction, such as post-event seismic microzoning and building design.


Beauval, C., Marinière, J., Yepes, H., Audin, L., Nocquet, J.M., Alvarado, A., Baize, S., Aguilar, J., Singaucho, J.C., and Jomard, H.: A New Seismic Hazard Model for Ecuador, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 108(3A), 1443–1464.

We present a comprehensive probabilistic seismic hazard study for Ecuador. Building on knowledge gained during the last decade about earthquake catalog, active tectonics, geodynamics, and geodesy, several alternative earthquake recurrence models have been developed. Interface subduction sources are modelled as dipping planes whereas inslab sources are modelled as dipping volumes. As faults are incompletely characterized throughout the country, two alternative models are developed for crustal shallow events: (1) an area model, with areas enclosing major fault systems and earthquake recurrence relying on past seismicity; (2) a fault model, where a simplified fault has been proposed for each main fault system, with earthquake recurrence inferred from fault slip rate estimates, fault surfaces and assumptions on the % of creep. We show the impact of each model and decision on the final hazard estimates. The results highlight how the different input datasets complement each other to provide an updated seismic hazard model.

Faure Walker, J.P., Visini, F., Roberts, G., Galasso, C., McCaffrey, K., and Mildon, Z.: Variable fault geometry suggests detailed fault-slip-sate profiles and geometries are needed for fault-based Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA), Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 109-1, 110-123

Keywords: Fault geometry, slip rate, seismic hazard

The addition of fault locations and slip rates improves seismic hazard assessments. In this paper, the authors demonstrate the importance of detailed along fault slip rate profiles and variable fault geometry for modeled recurrence intervals and shaking intensities using example faults from the Italian Apennines. This paper demonstrates that relying on only one or a few measurements of how fast the fault is moving along a fault and projecting these measurements along the entire fault may lead to underestimating the uncertainty in earthquake hazard calculations. 

Iezzi, F., Mildon, Z., Faure Walker, J. P., Roberts,G., Goodall, H., Wilkinson, M., and Robertson, J.: Coseismic throw variation across along-strike bends on active normal faults: Implications for displacement versus length scaling of earthquake ruptures, Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, 123-11, 9817-9841 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Fault scaling relationships, co-seismic thow

Fault scaling relationships relating fault length to earthquake parameters such as maximum magnitude and maximum displacement are commonly used in fault-based seismic hazard analyses. However, there is a lot of scatter in such relationships.  This paper suggests that slip during an earthquake will change where there is a bend along the length of the fault and this change can be quantified and predicted using the proposed model that relates fault geometry, co-seismic throw across a fault and horizontal strain-rates. Therefore, consideration of the fault geometry should be taken into account when forming and utilising fault scaling relationships.

Verdecchia, A., Pace, B., Visini, F., Scotti, O., Peruzza, L., and Benedetti, L.: Is viscoelastic relaxation a guide for secular earthquake cascades? Insights after the central Italy 2016-17 seismic sequence, Tectonics, 37-10, 3411-3428

Keywords: Central Italy, Coulomb stress changes, fault interaction

Central Italy is characterized by a network of active faults that interact in a complex manner. We calculated the coseismic plus postseismic Coulomb failure stress changes due to eight moderate-to-strong earthquakes that have struck Central Italy in the last century and culminated with the 2016–2017 sequence. Results from this modeling coupled with some synthetic tests simulating normal fault earthquakes with different magnitudes allowed us to highlight the importance of postseismic processes. Considering in the calculations the historical and paleoseismological data, several faults in Central Italy may be at present close to failure.


Azzaro, R., Barberi, G., D’Amico, S., Pace, B., Peruzza, L., and Tuvè, T.: When probabilistic seismic hazard climbs volcanoes: the Mt. Etna case, Italy – Part 1: Model components for sources parameterization, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1981-1998 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Mt Etna volcano, seismic sources

It is well known that volcanoes and earthquakes are associated, and some active volcanoes cause damaging earthquakes. Nonetheless, volcanoes usually are not pinpointed on a hazard map, as the effects of shallow, volcanic earthquakes can be overshadowed by stronger tectonic earthquakes in the region, particularly when long exposure periods are considered. In this study (Part 1, companion paper Part 2 Peruzza et al., below) we faced some challenges with software implementations and original concept scheme for an original PSHA at Mt. Etna, Italy.

Boncio, P., Liberi, F., Caldarella, M., and Nurminen, F.C.: Width of surface rupture zone for thrust earthquakes: implications for earthquake fault zoning, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 241-256 OPEN ACCESS

Chartier, T., Scotti, O., Clément, C., Jomard, H., and Baize, S.: Transposing an active fault database into a fault-based seismic hazard assessment for nuclear facilities – Part 2: Impact of fault parameter uncertainties on a site-specific PSHA exercise in the Upper Rhine Graben, eastern France, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1585-1593 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Fault, PSHA, Rhine Grabben

Using the fault information from the BDFA (Jomard et al 2017) we calculate the seismic hazard for a site in the Upper Rhine Grabben (France). We explore the uncertainties affecting the faults and analyse the impact of each uncertainty on the hazard level at the site. The large uncertainty  affecting the slip-rate value is the main contributor the uncertainty affecting the hazard at the site for the 10 000 years return period.

Chartier, T., Scotti, O., Lyon-Caen, H., and Boiselet, A.:
Methodology for earthquake rupture rate estimates of fault networks,
Example for the western Corinth rift, Greece
, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17-10, 1857-1869 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Fault systems, Earthquake rate estimate, Corinth Rift

The paper show a novel approach for modeling earthquake rates in fault systems based on three input ingredients : the slip-rate and geometry of the faults, hypotheses on the possible complex multi-fault ruptures, and the shape of the magnitude frequency distribution. This approach is applied to the Western Corinth Rift (Greece) and the epistemic uncertainty affecting the different input hypotheses is explored. Comparison between the modeled earthquake rates and rates calculated from independent data (earthquake catalog and paleoseismicity) allows to weight the different set of hypotheses.

Garciá-Mayordomo, J., Martín-Banda, R., Insua-Arévalo, J.M., Álvarez-Gómez, J.A., Martínez-Diáz, J.J., and Cabral, J.: Active fault databases: building a bridge between earthquake geologists and seismic hazard practitioners, the case of the QAFI v.3 database, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1447-1459 OPEN ACCESS

Jomard, H., Marc Cushing, E., Palumbo, L., Baize, S., David, C. and Chartier, T.: Transposing an active fault database into a seismic hazard fault model for nuclear facilities – Part 1: Building a database of potentially active faults (BDFA) for metropolitan France, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1573-1584 OPEN ACCESS

Peruzza, L., Azzaro, R., Gee, R., D’Amico, S., Langer, H., Lombardo, G., Pace, B., Pagani, M., Panzera, F., Ordaz, M., Suarez, M. L., and Tusa, G.: When probabilistic seismic hazard climbs volcanoes: the Mt. Etna case, Italy – Part 2: Computational implementation and first results, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1999-2015 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Mt Etna volcano, seismic hazard

It is well known that volcanoes and earthquakes are associated, and some active volcanoes cause damaging earthquakes. Nonetheless, volcanoes usually are not pinpointed on a hazard map, as the effects of shallow, volcanic earthquakes can be overshadowed by stronger tectonic earthquakes in the region, particularly when long exposure periods are considered. In this study (Part 2, companion paper Part 1 Azzaro et al., above) we faced some challenges with software implementations and original concept scheme for an original PSHA at Mt. Etna, Italy.

Valentini, A., Visini, F., and Pace, B.: Integrating faults and past earthquakes into a probabilistic seismic hazard model for peninsular Italy, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 2017-2039 OPEN ACCESS

Keywords: Italy, seismic hazard, fault sources

Italy is one of the most seismically active countries in Europe. Moderate to strong earthquakes, with magnitudes of up to ∼7, have been historically recorded for many active faults. In this study, the authors present the results of an alternative seismogenic source model for use in a probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for Italy that integrates active fault and seismological data.


Yepes, H., Audin, L., Alvarado, A., Beauval, C., Aguilar, J., Font, Y., and Cotton, F.: A new view for the geodynamics of Ecuador: implication in seismogenic source definition and seismic hazard assessment, Tectonics, 35-5, 1249-1279.

Keywords: Ecuador, seismic hazard, interseismic coupling

A new view of Ecuador’s complex geodynamics has been developed in the course of modeling seismic source zones for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis. This study focuses on two aspects of the plates’ interaction at a continental scale: (a) age-related differences in rheology between Farallon and Nazca plates —marked by the Grijalva rifted margin and its inland projection—as they subduct underneath central Ecuador, and (b) the rapidly changing convergence obliquity resulting from the convex shape of the South American northwestern continental margin. Both conditions satisfactorily explain several characteristics of the observed seismicity and of the interseismic coupling.


Beauval, C., Yepes, H., Audin, L., Alvarado, A., Nocquet, J.M., Monelli, D., and Danciu, L.: Probabilistic Seismic-Hazard Assessment in Quito, Estimates and Uncertainties, Seismological Research Letters, 85-6, 1316-1327.

Keywords: Ecuador, seismic hazard, uncertainties

PSH is estimated for Quito, capital of Ecuador. Different earthquake recurrence models are explored for the host zone controlling the hazard estimates, and the impact on hazard is determined. This host zone approximately delineates the Quito fault system. The first recurrence model considers historical earthquake catalog and rates for magnitudes 6-7 are obtained by extrapolation of moderate magnitude statistics. The second model is a MFD established from slip rates based on geodetic measurements, assuming that no creep occurs on the fault. In the third model, the fault is assumed to be partially locked. In the fourth model, occurrences of magnitudes 6-7 are restricted to the Quito fault plane. We show the impact of each decision on the hazard estimates and demonstrate the importance of taking into account faults in hazard calculations.