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European seismological reference model

Visualisation Tool for the European Reference Model


Seismological models of Earth crust and upper mantle structure are critical for many basic and advanced seismological tasks, such as the calculation of earthquake source parameters (location, magnitude, geometry), shake-maps, and the imaging of lithospheric dynamic processes.

The resolution, reliability and consistency of seismic wave speed models control the accuracy of earthquake parameter estimation, and thus greatly influence the quality of further seismological studies. For the Euro-Mediterranean region no adequate, coherent, seismological reference exists, but one is urgently needed to improve European research and monitoring. The necessary data exist at national data centers and geophysical institutes throughout the EuroMed region. Our goal is to develop a commonly accepted European Seismological Reference Model (ESRM) based on these data.

The earth model consists of two separate parts: the crust and the upper mantle, derived following different strategies. The crustal model (EPcrust) derives from a compilation of existing information: large-scale and local models, receiver functions, active seismic profiles. The transversely-isotropic upper mantle (EuMEAN) is instead the result of averaging two new models, obtained inverting surface waves. Azimuthal anisotropy derives from a global study, that can better constrain fast directions in view of better sampling by ray paths. The model is represented in the proposed new distribution standard TomoJSON.

We set up, early in the project, a web site to host a database of literature and models related to structure in the larger European region: