Seismology is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of seismic waves through the Earth or through other planet-like bodies. Seismologists make use of seismological waveforms and other data to construct models of the earthquake source, the physical structure and parameters of the Earth’s interior from the near surface to the inner core, and use that information to assess earthquake hazard and risk.
Europe has a long history of destructive earthquakes. Countries in the Balkan and Mediterranean regions, as well as Turkey, are at higher risk of damaging seismic events, as the recent earthquakes that struck the Central Apennines (Italy) in 2009 and 2016, and Croatia in 2020 demonstrated. With seismic hazardous areas spread across the whole greater European region, even moderate earthquakes can have serious consequences on the built environment. It is crucial to understand the origin and the mechanics of earthquakes to assess seismic hazard and mitigate the associated risks.
In the framework of the EPOS infrastructure, the Thematic Core Service (TCS) for Seismology (EPOS Seismology) coordinates the integration and access to various seismological and earthquake-related data services. The internal coordination of data service management allows EPOS Seismology to offer integrated access to an outstanding set of waveform data and scientific products, also including seismic hazard and risk. Seismology is traditionally a domain where European infrastructures have been developed through cross-border and international collaborations.
EPOS TCS Seismology gathers and provides data and scientific products coordinated by the following European infrastructures:
• ORFEUS (Observatories and Research Facilities for European Seismology) promotes seismology in the Euro-Mediterranean area through the collection, archival and distribution of seismic waveform data, metadata, and closely related services and products;
• EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre) coordinates the integration and the access to seismological products and information about the seismic events in the greater European region and beyond; and
• EFEHR (European Facilities for Earthquake Hazard & Risk) provides access to data, models, tools, and expertise to assess seismic hazard and risk in Europe.
As part of the EPOS research infrastructure, the TCS Seismology coordinates the integration of seismological data, products and services for different stakeholders. The governance of the seismological data and service provision is essential to ensure long term sustainability and to further strengthen the global dimension of data sharing and data management. Seismologists have a long-lasting tradition in sharing data through open access, thus contributing to open science. Their expertise and experiences are essential to foster the multidisciplinary use and re-use of data within and beyond solid Earth Science.
Seismology in Europe is firmly rooted in national and regional observatories in charge of detecting local seismicity and providing earthquake information to civil protection agencies and the general public. This monitoring effort is homogenised and further promoted by organisations like ORFEUS, EMSC, EFEHR within the TCS Seismology. The TCS Seismology is the proper framework to foster and promote collaboration, harmonization and innovation in seismology and strengthen its value for society.