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Network of european research infrastructures for earthquake risk assessment and mitigation

Earthquakes continue to cause destructions around the world and also in the European-Mediterranean region. Only in the last ten years, severe damage and casualties were produced in Izmit (Turkey), 1999, Athens (Greece), 1999, Boumerdes (Algeria), 2003, and L’Aquila (Italy),2009.

Fortunately none of these events reached the size to produce truly catastrophic effects, as we have seen many times in our history, i.e. in Lisbon in 1755 or in Eastern Sicily in 1693; these recent events however remind us that the vulnerability and exposure of our built environment are high and the seismic risk cannot be underestimated. Increasing public awareness is resulting in higher protection measures, but we are far from having a complete understanding of the earthquake risk and even more of the measures and costs required to protect our society. We all agree with the overarching goal – the minimization of earthquake damage and casualties – but we don’t really know how to reach the goal.
NERA will answer to the main priorities as listed in the call INFRA-2010.1.1.27:
a) Integrate the key research infrastructures in Europe to monitor, assess and prevent earthquake hazards
b) Cover analytical vulnerability assessment tools and mobile facilities for site characterization of constructions
c) Develop instruments, hazard and risk assessment, data processing, data dissemination
d) Support the reduction of vulnerability of European citizens and constructions to earthquakes
e) Foster international collaboration activities and further integration of the research field
NERA proposes an integrated set of 21 activities (NA, JRA, TA, SA) to respond to all the five priorities identified in the INFRA-2010.1.1.27 call. In particular, NERA and its activities are designed to provide the long-term, structural contribution required to support the reduction of vulnerability of European citizens and constructions to earthquake

Duration               Funded by                        Project website

July 2010 – July 2014    EU-FP7 (INFRA-2010-1.1.27)



Through the project NERA the European Commission supports grants for access to European seismological centres and infrastructures for periods of research. The selected Italian seismological centre is RISSCLab (Research laboratory on experimental and computational seismology).

At RISSCLab we develop and apply new and innovative methods for the analysis and modelling of data from active and passive seismic experiments and for the numerical simulation of earthquake source processes and wave propagation in heterogeneous media.

RISSCLab will provide to the visiting researchers the full access to its early warning network ISNet  (Irpinia seismic network). The ISNet seismic network, deployed along the Irpinia fault system (Southern Apennines), is a prototype real-time monitoring infrastructure for seismic early and post-event warning. It is a dense, high-dynamic range system of 30 stations, each containing a SM and a SP (25) or a BB (5) sensor. The goal of the Irpinia near-fault observatory is to research faulting processes and the preparation cycles of strong earthquakes in the region through the fine characterization of microseismicity.

During the period of visit, the visiting researchers will experiment with existing methodologies and procedures, implement own tools in collaboration with RISCC-Lab researchers and/or study the earthquake fault processes generated in a complex normal fault environment as the Irpinia fault system using ISNet data and observations.

Types of access and research activities

RISSCLab will provide two types of access to ISNet: 1) online access to seismological data and 2) physical access both for visiting researchers using seismic data and for visiting researchers interested in complementary uses of the network.
The visiting researcher will have the possibility to work on various aspects of seismic instrumentation, real-time seismology and seismic source investigation. Among these:
- Real-time data processing and early warning (automatic picking, massive data analysis, rapid estimation of  location and magnitude,...)
- Seismic imaging (high-precision event location, tomography, analysis of later phases, ambient noise ,...)
- Source description (source parameters, strong motion inversion, source dynamics, ...)
- Strong motion seismology (wavefield simulation, attenuation laws, rapid shaking maps ...)
- Data acquisition, transmission and visualization
It is possible to submit research proposals in topics different from/related to the topics listed above.  

Duration of the visits

The working period can last from 1 up to 3 months.
The grant will cover all the travel and living expenses up to 3 months. 

How to apply

Applicants must be affiliated at an institution of the EC Member States or of the Associated States, except Italy
Proposals for visits can be submitted at any time to Prof. Aldo Zollo, head of the RISSCLab.
Proposals will be evaluated by a selection panel four times per year.
Deadlines for applications are scheduled for 1 March, 1 June, 1 September, and 1 December in 2012.

Download the Application Form

To submit an application or for further information, please contact: Prof. Aldo Zollo  -  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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