History and Scope

The Paleoseismology International Focus Area is deeply rooted in the history of INQUA, coming from the past scientific networking within the former INQUA Neotectonics Comm., coming from the past scientific networking within the former INQUA Neotectonics Commission ceased in the year 2003. After the termination of the Neotectonics Commission, paleoseismology research and scientific networking within INQUA developed as a consistent International Focus Area. The IFG is part of the INQUA TERPRO Commission on Terrestrial Processes, Deposits, and History (TERPRO). The TERPRO Commission covers the wider spectrum of Quaternary disciplines and coordinates the largest number of International Focus Groups (IFG's) and Projects.

The IFG supports the INQUA Congresses, however, the flagship event of the group are the annual Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics and Archaeoseismology (PATA) Days conference series. The PATA Days is the world's only regular event focused on earthquake geology, palaeoseismology and Quaternary tectonics, forming the main scientific discussion forum for the latest developments in these fields. PATA days include fieldtrips and summer schools and promote socializing and networking among researchers. As a result, the focus group has 625 members from 58 countries worldwide (e.g. representing all the participants who attended at least one of the PATA days workshops since 2009).

During the three previous inter-congress periods (2003/2007, 2007/2011, and 2011/2015) the Focus Area Paleoseismology and Active Tectonics (PALACTE) generated the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI-2007) and the on-line Catalogue of Earthquake Environmental Effects (EEE) by means of successive INQUA-Projects. In 2011/2015 the International Focus Group IFG PALACTE was running the INQUA#1299 Project on EEE Metrics.

A new IFG has been set up following the INQUA congress in Nagoya in 2015: Earthquake Geology and Seismic Hazard (IFG EGSHaz). The main scope is the understanding of past earthquakes and future seismic risks using Quaternary geology. The activity of the IFG is focused on the study of coseismic environmental effects and their integral expression in the Quaternary record. Recent progresses in the field of paleoseismology have clearly shown that earthquake effects on natural environment are more strictly related to the earthquake magnitude (e.g. Wells & Coppersmith, 1994) than effects on humans and manmade structures. During the intercongress period 2007/2011 the IFG also incorporated an archaeoseismic view to the study of historic and ancient earthquakes by means the joint-initiative with the IGCP-567 Project on Earthquake Archaeology. At the moment nine INQUA-IGCP International workshops have been celebrated in the ancient roman city of Baelo Claudia (2009, Spain), the Corinth Gulf (2011, Greece), Morelia (2012, Mexico), Aachen (2013, Germany), Busan (2014, Korea), and Fucino (2015, Italy), Crestone (2016, USA), Blenheim (2017 New Zealand), Posidi (2018, Greece). The conference series is now worldwide established under the brand PATA Days (Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics, Archaeoseismology).

TERPRO President

Alessandro Maria Michetti
Universita dell Insubria, Italy
Curriculum vitae

Most of my research is focused on the reconstruction of the recent landscape evolution in order to define geological criteria for assessing natural hazards, in particular seismicity. This includes the integration of historical and instrumental seismicity data with observations from Quaternary, dominantly Holocene, stratigraphy, geomorphology and tectonics,

Leader of the Group

Ioannis Papanikolaou
Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
Curriculum vitae

My research interests are focused in geohazards and particularly in earthquake geology and seismic hazards using structural geology and geomorphology as the main tools. In addition, I m studying the landscape evolution and Earthquake Environmental Effects and try to insert geological data in Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment, Time dependent Probabilities

Group Co-Leaders

Christoph Gruetzner
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany
Curriculum vitae

My main research interest are studies on past earthquakes. I try to extend our knowledge on past seismicity using data from historical catalogues, archaeological sites, offset geomorphological markers and paleoseismological studies. The methods I use include paleoseismological trenching, geomorphological field studies, remote sensing, Quaternary dating,

Petra Stepancikova
Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics, Academy of Sciences of the CR, Czech Republic
Curriculum vitae

Research interests: I am a researcher in neotectonics and tectonic geomorphology working at the Department of Neotectonics and Thermochronolgy at the IRSM. My main research interests are long-term morphotectonic evolution of studied areas, Quaternary tectonic activity of selected faults and paleoseismic survey. To assess the geodynamic evolution and

Beau Whitney
The University of Western Australia, Australia
Curriculum vitae

Dr. Whitney is a research fellow at the Centre for Energy Geoscience at the University of Western Australia and an independent consulting geologist specializing in geohazard recognition and characterization for critical infrastructure projects. Dr. Whitney has over fifteen years of consulting experience working on myriad geohazard and engineering geology

Technical support and Secretary

Jakub Stemberk
Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic
Curriculum vitae

Geomorphology focused on active tectonics, paleoseismology and landslides evolution; web applications for landslides and tectonic monitoring

Neta Wechsler
Tel Aviv University, Israel
Curriculum vitae

Post-doctoral researcher, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, (including one year position as visiting researcher at the Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris)
As of January 2013

List of All Members

Table showing the number of the PATA Participants per country (e.g. attended at least one of the PATA days workshops since 2009).

No. of participants
In %
Country Code
1 88 14.08 ITA Italia
2 75 12.00 GRE Greece
3 46 7.36 GER Germany
4 39 6.24 ESP Spain
5 38 6.08 USA USA
6 32 5.12 NZL New Zealand
7 30 4.80 KOR South Korea
8 26 4.16 GBR Great Britain
9 24 3.84 MEX Mexico
10 17 2.72 JPN Japan
11 16 2.56 FRA France
12 16 2.56 IDO Indonesia
13 13 2.08 ISR Israel
14 12 1.92 CHI Chile
15 11 1.76 BEL Belgium
16 11 1.76 IND India
17 10 1.60 BUL Bulgaria
18 10 1.60 CZE Czech Republic
19 10 1.60 POL Poland
20 7 1.12 AUS Australia
21 6 0.96 IRI Republica of Ireland
22 6 0.96 POR Portugal
23 5 0.80 AUT Austria
24 5 0.80 ECU Ecuador
25 5 0.80 RUS Russia
26 5 0.80 TUR Turkey
27 5 0.80 VEN Venezuela
28 4 0.64 ARG Argentina
29 4 0.64 CHN China
30 4 0.64 PHI Phillipines
31 4 0.64 SLO Slovenia
32 3 0.48 CAN Canada
33 3 0.48 LTU Lithuania
34 3 0.48 SIN Singapure
35 2 0.48 SWE Sweden
36 2 0.32 ALG Algeria
37 2 0.32 FIN Finnland
38 2 0.32 KYG Kyrgystan
39 2 0.32 MOR Moroccan
40 2 0.32 SUI Switzerland
41 2 0.32 THA Thailand
42 1 0.16 AND Andorra
43 1 0.16 COL Colombia
44 1 0.16 CRC Costa Rica
45 1 0.16 CRO Croatia
46 1 0.16 CYP Cyprus
47 1 0.16 DAN Denmark
48 1 0.16 EGY Egypt
49 1 0.16 ETH Ethiopia
50 1 0.16 HUN Hungary
51 1 0.16 NED Nederland's
52 1 0.16 NOR Norway
53 1 0.16 OMN Oman
54 1 0.16 PAK Pakistan
55 1 0.16 PER Peru
56 1 0.16 ROM Romania
57 1 0.16 TPE Taiwan Province of China
58 1 0.16 VIE Vietnam

All our members are listed here