Common earthquake database

Dear colleagues,
first of all, I wish you an excellent 2020 for you and our Working Group!

We believe it is extremely important to create a common database to have an adequate tool to facilitate the exchange of macroseismic information and to compare the data of each group with each other. For this reason, we propose a test of the new graphical tool that we prepared to display macroseismic information on the map (see below how to upload your data for doing this test). A draft, incomplete version is available at the address (sorry, now only in Italian, but Google Translate does the translation pretty well):

For example: Select with a click the earthquake represented by the green star in Central Italy, between the city of Caserta and Campobasso.

After the click this panel will open:

Click on the MCS button and the map of macroseismic intensities of such seismic event  will appear:

If you click again on the epicenter star (now it is white) a new panel will appear with the buttons of the individual effects:

Select one of the effects and the distribution of observation percentage will appear on the map:

This map shows the distribution of the percentage of citizens who experienced fear during the earthquake: the diameter of the circles indicates the number of responses for that town, the colour represents the percentage of frightened citizens (the more intense the colour, the higher the percentage). Our intent is to propose a tool to visualize the data that will be shared, first of all, the macroseismic intensity points and, for those who can supply it, also data of single effects. We encourage you to try it in this beta version and give us comments and suggestions.

Your contribution

To test the sharing of the data, we ask you to send us the macroseismic data of one (or more) of your earthquakes, following the format that we propose below. If you have any comment and/or suggestions on the format, please let us know.  After this phase, we will ask, to who will be able to supply them, data about single effects.

We thank you for your cooperation,

Valerio De Rubeis, Patrizia Tosi and Paola Sbarra


Structure of macroseismic database files
The database will be composed of two main sections (file): one for earthquakes and the other one for intensity points pertaining to the provided earthquakes.

Earthquake file
Export a .csv file with all earthquakes (one row=one earthquake) that you want to provide for this exercise and name it as:
YOURINSTITUTE_eqs.csv (e.g. INGV_eqs.csv, ROB_eqs.csv….)

Please order the .csv file structure as follows:

Id(e) = univocal identification code of seismic event
Time = UTC time in ISO 8601 international standard (
Lat =latitude
Lon =longitude
Depth =depth in km
Mag =magnitude
MagKind= ML, Md,Mw,……..

* if more than one magnitude is provided for the same seismic event, please add them in new columns, specifying for each one the magnitude type.
* For time format refer to

Example: first two rows of an INSTITUTE_eqs.csv file (label row and data row):

Intensity file:
Export a  .csv file for each earthquake listed into the previous file (INSTITUTE_eqs.csv earthquake section), with the intensity information for all localities (one row=one locality). 

Please name each file as
YOURINSTITUTE_id(e)_int.csv (e.g. INGV_3244_int.csv, INGV_1579_int.csv……)

Please order the .csv intensity file as follows: Id(e),Lat,Lon,Loc,LocKind,Int,IntKind,NumQuest

Id(e) =univocal identification code of seismic event
Lat =locality latitude
Lon =locality longitude
Loc =locality name
LocKind= locality kind (town, village……)
Int = macroseismic intensity
IntKind=macroseismic scale: MCS, EMS, MMI, ….
NumQuest= number of questionnaires used for that specific locality

2019 Survey on the Internet Macroseismic Practice in Europe

Although today the experience of collection and analysis of internet macroseismic data has reached high levels in many European countries, the methods we use are still quite different and usually tailored to the needs of local customs and seismicity.

In February 2019 the ESC WG launched an Intensity Data Survey to give the WG a head start in understanding how each institute gathers its macroseismic data, which intensity procedures are used and how macroseismic data can/are already shared. The survey will provide us important information how macroseismic data can be shared in the future between the institutes and countries, i.e. the ultimate goal of this ESC Working Group in Internet Macroseismology.

Link to the survey: Intensity Data Survey

We’ll be interested in your responses !
Valerio, Patrizia, Paola & Koen

Intention and aim of the Macro ESC WG

Macroseismic practice in the last twenty years has been strongly influenced by internet diffusion; both seismologists and citizens got fast, wide and direct access to data. The aim of the ESC Working Group Internet Macroseismology, active between 2008 and 2014, was to find a common basis for data collection from citizens and to reach homogeneous intensity quantification. Nevertheless, heterogeneity of data collection is still a widespread feature. Although today the experience of collection and analysis of internet macroseismic data has reached high levels in many European countries, the methods we use are still quite different and usually tailored to the needs of local customs and seismicity. During a recent Technical workshop on Internet Macroseismology (Ljubljana, November 2017) the need to harmonise methods and to simplify the data merging was clearly expressed. On one side there is the benefit of sharing ideas, news and information, on the other side there is the need to save the richness provided by different solutions adopted in European and Mediterranean countries. The safeguard of differences was a new element arisen in Ljubljana, suggesting to work more on intensity comparison and calibration.

The aim of this Working Group proposal is to promote ideas, exchange and cooperation among research groups in the frame of harmonization. Attention will be given to maintain the richness given by different European realities. The target is the integration and improvement of methods, especially for seismic events affecting more than one country, in view of a comprehensive European recent macroseismic intensity catalogue building. Such database creation is present also into the EPOS frame. Efforts will be given to create translation algorithms able to create homogeneous datasets, taking into account all local factors able to introduce systematic variations.

Potential participants, as expressed during the workshop in Ljubljana are seismologists from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK, Malta and other. During this meeting a wide agreement was reached to cooperate into the direction of integration. The action of this common decision was to propose this Working Group and which was approved during the Plenary Meeting of ESC2018 in Malta.

A reasonable length of time for completion of main task is four years (’18-’22). In the first time period there will be an analysis of each different national internet macroseismic practice. It will follow an analysis to evidence common elements and a quantifications of differences of intensity values.

Products of the Working Group:

1) Report on analysis and comparison of the various currently active systems of internet macroseismology and individuation of common features in the countries database.

2) Definition of calibration parameters for database compatibility.

3) Application on selected multi-country events.

4) Proposal of a common protocol for macroseismic data acquisition.

Valerio de Rubeis, INGV

Welcome !

Thanks for visiting the website of this European Seismological Commission Working Group in Harmonizing Internet Macroseismology in Europe. 

Drop us a line whenever you want to have more explanation on this WG,
if you want to join the WG as a member,
if you have a new proposition to collaborate,
if you think your institute is not on the National Surveys list,

Koen, Valerio, Patrizia, Paola, Thomas