Short term earthquake prediction and preparation
Director: Dario Albarello
Dept. of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences,  University of Siena, Italy  
The project is developed in the frame of the agreement between the National Depart,ment of Civil Protection (DPC) and the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) and aims at identifying and evaluating effective procedures for short term (from hours up to some months) forecasting of destructive earthquakes.  In particular, the project aims at overcoming the main limitation of researches so far carried on in the field of short term earthquake forecasting, that is the lack of observational data having sufficiently extended coverage both in time and space to allow a correct evaluation of the proposed precursory patterns. In the recent years, in fact, no systematic, well supported and coordinated effort was devoted to the monitoring observables of potential interest. Thus, it seems to be of major importance overcoming this handicap by trying the development of well oriented research programs able to provide information useful to evaluate performances of observables potentially informative about ongoing seismogenic processes. This goal has been considered as the basis of the present research project that focuses on two Italian areas: the Po Plain and Southern Apennines. In the selection of observations of major interest four elements were of concern:
  • Multiparametric observations over wide areas should be preferred since these are potentially able to provide an integrated image of ongoing geodynamic processes responsible for the incoming earthquake
  • Economic suitability of monitoring procedures is of major concern (low operating costs) to allow long term monitoring  (well beyond the project duration)
  • Availability of physical models (whether incomplete) accounting for the possible association of the observable and ongoing seismogenic processes
  • Possibility to falsify hypotheses concerning the above association on the basis of empirical tests

Project organization and tasks:

The bulk of the project is the reappraisal of data collected in the last years to provide a comprehensive multiparametric database for retrospective validation and fixing observational protocols and standards. The exploration of promising research lines, internationally considered as feasible, but so far less considered in Italy for monitoring seismogenic processes are of major concern. Funds available for the project amount to 280,000 Euro.

The project is organized in three main work packages (WP) including 8 specific tasks.  

WP1 : Definition of a comprehensive database of observations relative to phenomena and patterns potentially linked to ongoing seismogenic processes

  • Task 1:   Monitoring of deep seated underground fluids
  • Task 2:   Monitoring variations in the mechanical properties of the crust from seismic measurements
  • Task 3:   Monitoring of seismicity patterns
  • Task 4:   Monitoring Earth’s motion displacements via satellite and ground based measurements
  • Task 5:   Monitoring variations in the electromagnetic field from ground based measurements
  • Task 6:   Monitoring ground thermal emissions by satellite measurements

WP2: Validation

  • Task 7:   Application of validation protocols to available observations

WP3: Planning of future monitoring networks

  • Task 8:  Medium/short term forecasting of areas most prone to future seismic activations in the Po plain and Southern Apennines


  • Reappraisal of data collected in the last years about observable and phenomena possibly related with ongoing seismogenic process. These data will be merged to provide a comprehensive multiparametric database for retrospective validations and fixing observational protocols and standards 
  • Retrospective empirical validation of patterns proposed as representative of ongoing seismogenic processes
  • Location of future monitoring networks relative to validated observables for an effective “forward” validation test  



Tasks to be completed

TitleAssigned ToStatusPriorityDue Date% Complete
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  • Precisazioni A seguito di alcuni articoli apparsi sulla stampa nazionale riguardo alle attività ed alla gestione dei progetti sismologici, il Coordinatore del programma ed i tre Direttori hanno voluto fare alcune ...
    Posted Feb 3, 2014, 9:01 AM by Dario Albarello
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    Posted Feb 4, 2014, 4:49 AM by Dario Albarello
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Uploaded Files

  • Precisazioni_notizie.pdf   22k - Feb 3, 2014, 9:05 AM by Dario Albarello (v2)
    ‎Precisazioni riguardanti alcuni articoli apparsi sulla stampa nazionale riguardo alle attività ed alla gestione dei progetti sismologici ‎
  • Final Report S3.pdf   963k - Dec 23, 2013, 12:58 AM by Dario Albarello (v1)
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