The Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program is a demonstration program of the UN/IDNDR, proposed in 1992 by ILP and ICSU. GSHAP has completed its first phase of implementation in the fall of 1995; the second phase is now under way and will bring the program to conclusion in 1997.
The second phase of the GSHAP implementation is devoted to continue and complete the work in selected test areas for multi-national, multidisciplinary seismic hazard assessment; where possible, hazard mapping is extended to cover whole continents. While in the early part of the program the attention went on establishing regional centres, uniform assessment procedures and funding strategies, the emphasis is now on completing the multi-national, multi-disciplinary hazard assessment in these key test areas, providing products which can be readily implemented in risk mitigation strategies within the UN/IDNDR framework.
The present report summarizes the main activities and program status at the end of 1996, the plan of action for 1997 and the proposal for a one-year phase, ending in 1998, devoted to the publication of the GSHAP results and the preparation of a world map of seismic hazard and of specific hazard products oriented toward megacities. A more extensive description of the GSHAP strategies and implementation in the 1992-1995 period is contained in previous yearly Progress Reports and in the Summary Report 1993-95.
The test areas where work is presently progressing in the GSHAP framework are:
i. South America ii. Andes iii. Central-North America
iv. Central-Northern Europe v. DACH vi. Ibero-Maghreb
vii. ADRIA viii. E. Mediterranean ix. Caucasus
x. African Rift xi. Northern Eurasia xii. China-India-Nepal
xiii. Oceania
By 1997 most of these test areas will produce a preliminary or final hazard assessment, complemented by regional earthquake catalogues and seismic source zonations, to be presented at the final GSHAP event, a workshop of the 1997 IASPEI General Assembly in Greece (26/8/97).
It should be noted that several bilateral and multinational projects are conducted in different continents independently from GSHAP; the GSHAP role has been to promote new activities where regional cooperation was poor and to integrate its initiatives with existing programs where available. Among these, we note the Eastern Asia Natural Hazards Mapping project led by the GSJ, producing maps of main hazards and background data, including earthquakes and felt intensities, for the whole Eastern Asia region, the UNESCO/USGS program Reduction of Earthquake Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the 5-year UNESCO/IUGS International Geological Correlation Program n.382 SESAME: Seismotectonics and Seismic Hazard Assessment of the Mediterranean basin, initiated in 1992 to integrate the existing regional databases in a unified seismic hazard assessment for the whole basin, and several bilateral and multinational initiatives recently completed or under way in Central America.
Technical reports and minutes are available for most of the listed activities. A list of contacts for the test areas is enclosed.
The whole South American continent has been targeted as test area by the CERESIS Regional Centre. CERESIS completed in 1996 a new seismic hazard assessment for the whole continent, as part of the four-part seismic hazard mapping of Central and South America supported by PAIGH/IDRC; the new map is based on an updated earthquake catalogue extending the 1981 SISRA catalogue to 1991 and on a new regional seismic source zonation.
Five Andean countries (Bolivia to Venezuela) and four European countries cooperate in the PILOTO program (Test area for earthquake monitoring and seismic hazard assessment), launched under GSHAP and sponsored by the European Community (Ct.94-0103) to produce comparative maps of seismic hazard assessment for the Andean region. Activities in 1996 included the compilation of national earthquake catalogues and source zonings, in preparation for a regional hazard assessment exercise held in Colombia (1/97); a joint ILP/PILOTO Training course in paleo-seismology and active faulting is scheduled in Venezuela in (2/97) and the final hazard assessment workshop will be held in Ecuador (5/97).
A network of national and regional programs in seismic hazard assessment covers Canada, the US, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbeans. The role of GSHAP has been to promote inter-program coordination at continental scale and to connect activities in Central-North America with other regions; for example, PAIGH has adopted the GSHAP standards in regional program in Central America. A working group led by GSC, USGS and UNAM is expected to produce by 1997 a unified seismic hazard map of North America under GSHAP, joining the existing national and regional source zonings.
The GSHAP implementation in Central-Northern Europe is coordinated by the GFZ Regional Centre in Potsdam. In 1996 the regional seismic catalogue has been completed with the addition of the database for Fennoscandia and of the SIRENE catalogue for France, for the first time released for an international program. The first hazard zonation has been presented in 1996 at the 25th ESC Assembly (Iceland, 9/96), where a meeting of the working group was held; the final hazard assessment, including Fennoscandia, will be presented in 1997.
A unified hazard assessment for the German speaking countries (Germany-Austria-Switzerland) has been produced by national teams including seismologists and engineers, under the coordination of GFZ at Potsdam, as preparatory work for the implementation of the new european seismic building construction code (EC8). It is the first time that a major country, i.e. Germany, adopts as basis for its national building code a map produced also through multi-national cooperation. DACH has also been promoted as GSHAP test area. Regular meetings have been held in the last years towards the preparation of the final map produced in 1996.
The original plan called for the reactivation of a former ESC program under the coordination of the CNCPRST of Rabat, the regional GSHAP centre. In 1996, the CNCPRST succedeed with GSHAP support in setting up the Centre Euro-Mediterraneen d'Evaluation et de Prevention du Risque Sismique or Seismic Hazard Assessment (CEPRIS) in Rabat under the Open Partial Agreement on Natural Disasters of the European Council, with the mandate of coordinating activities in the Ibero-Maghreb and Western Mediterranean areas; CEPRIS will initiate its activities in 1997. To ensure that a first generation of hazard mapping for the Ibero-Maghreb area is produced within the GSHAP implementation period, the CSIC of Barcelona is now coordinating the activities in the area, starting with the 6° International Forum on Seismic Zonation: First Ibero-Maghreb Region Conference organized by UNESCO, USGS and CSIC in Barcelona (12/96) with partial support from GSHAP and IGCP/SESAME. Following the guidelines issued during the workshop, a working group is now preparing the databases for a second technical workshop, to be held with IGCP support in the spring 1997 to complete the first regional hazard mapping.
This project includes all countries bordering on the Adriatic Sea, from the Alps to Greece, coordinated by OGS of Trieste. Preliminary seismic zoning maps and earthquake catalogue have been compiled during a series of regional meetings in 1994-95 and presented in preliminary form at the ESC assembly (Iceland, 9/96). The final hazard assessment will be completed by 1997.
The UNESCO/IGCP SESAME and the UNESCO/USGS RELEMR are coordinating their activities, leading toward a unified hazard mapping for the whole area. In 1996 SESAME organized its first Training workshop on seismotectonics and seismic hazard analysis in the Eastern Mediterranean countries in Cairo (12/96); a second workshop is planned for 1997 to produce preliminary regional hazard, possibly to be presented at the IASPEI General Assembly (Greece, 8/97). RELEMR includes hazard mapping from Turkey to the Red Sea among its goals; in 1996 a workshop was held in Cyprus (12/96), dealing also with seismic hazard; a special session on RELEMR will be held at the IASPEI General Assembly (Greece, 8/97).
The Test Area for Seismic Hazard Assessment in the Caucasus is coordinated by GSHAP with IASPEI endorsement and INTAS support (Ct.94-1644), joining seismological institutions from the Caucasian republics, Russia, Turkey and Iran. Multinational working groups have been formed, with scheduled activities and workshops for 1996-97; the earthquake catalogue (historical and instrumental) and the seismic zoning have been produced in 1996; the main 1996 event was the NATO-ARW Historical and prehistorical earthquakes in the Caucasus, held in Armenia (Ct.95-1521, 7/96); the proceedings volume are under publication with Kluwer. The main 1997 event with be the closing CAUCAS meeting, planned in late spring in Georgia, where regional hazard produced with different codes and phylosophies will be compared.
The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Seismological Working Group, with support from Sweden, IASPEI and GSHAP, continues holding periodic workshops to compile the regional earthquake catalogue and hazard mapping for the Rift area, with the participation of external experts. During the last workshop in Zimbabwe (3/96) the first generation of regional hazard assessment has been produced, and for the first time eight of the nine participating countries now have a national seismic hazard map; in addition, site-specific hazard assessments for the capital cities along the Rift have been produced; a refined generation of hazard mapping is expected for the next workshop planned in Eritrea (5/97). The GSHAP Regional Centre at the University of Nairobi has compiled a seismic zonation following a historical probabilistic approach and will host the next UNESCO/GFZ International Training Course in Seismology and Seismic Hazard Assessment (9/97).
The GSHAP Regional Centre in Moscow, JIPE, is coordinating the seismic hazard mapping for the whole territory of the former USSR. This five-year program, initiated before the FSU break-up and interrupted during the period of more intense political turmoil, is now proceeding with the compilation of catalogue and the assessment of hazard, using for the first time a probabilistic approach. The first generation of mapping has been obtained during 1996.
The GSHAP test area has been established in the border region of China, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangla-Dash, under the direction of the SSB of Beijing, the GSHAP Regional Centre, in cooperation with the NGRI of Hyderabad; it is the first time that this type of regional framework is effectively operating in the region. In 1996 a technical workshop was held in Hyderabad (India, 3/96), with experts from the region and from the international community, to produce the first generation of regional earthquake catalogue, seismic source zoning and hazard assessment; these have been presented in occasion of the first ASC Assembly in Tangshan (China, 8/96) and the 30th IGC in Beijing (8/96). Final work to refine these products is planned for the spring of 1997.
Activities in the whole region, including Australia, New Zealand and the S. Pacific Islands, are coordinated in a unified test area by the AGSO of Canberra. Following the first GSHAP South-West Pacific/South-East Asia Regional Meeting (Melbourne, 11/95), activities are progressing in independent sub-areas (Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga-Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Is.) with common approach and methodology. Unified databases and hazard maps for the whole region are expected in 1997.
In addition to the regional activities, we expect in 1997 concrete results from the projects and tasks devoted to the improvement of the global practice of seismic hazard assessment:
i. The compilation of a uniform instrumental global seismic catalogue for this century, derived from the digital scanning of the ISS-BCIS bulletins and the relocation to modern standards, will be completed in 1997 by USGS and University of Colorado, with NSF support.
ii. The code FRISK88M for probabilistic seismic hazard assessment is provided for the GSHAP implementation by Risk Engineering and is now in use in most GSHAP test areas and regional centres, ensuring global integration of databases and results.
iii. The pursue of a multisciplinary approach to seismic hazard assessment will continue in 1997 through the widespread use of the seismotectonic probabilistic approach in GSHAP test areas, the organization of thematic workshops and training courses as listed above, the integration with the ILP projects on active faulting and paleoseismology, the publication of scientific articles and reports.
The implementation of GSHAP relies on the cooperation with several international scientific agencies, commissions and programs.
ILP launched GSHAP (ILP Project II-0) and established its worldwide operation. The integration between GSHAP and the ILP Projects II-2: Maps of Major Active Faults and II-3: Earthquakes of the Late Holocene has improved since the GSHAP beginning. Joint activities in 1996 included the NATO/ARW Historical and Pre-historical Earthquakes in the Caucasus. In February 1997 the ILP Training Course in Paleoseismology and Active Faulting will be held in Venezuela with GSHAP support.
The common affiliation of seismic hazard is within the seismological community represented by IASPEI. Several IASPEI commissions and working groups have an active role in the GSHAP implementation. In particular, in 1996 the Committee for Developing Countries and the Commission for the IDNDR have been in close contact with GSHAP and the European and Asian Seismological Ccommissions have supported GSHAP activities and hosted special sessions within their general assemblies. The 1997 IASPEI General Assembly in Thessalonicki will host a workshop dedicated to GSHAP (W17, 26/8) and will dedicate its plenary lecture to the GSHAP implementation (L2, 26/8); on the following day (27/8) the GSHAP Steering Committee will meet.
UNESCO maintains its overall support to GSHAP activities. In 1996 GSHAP worked in close coordination with three UNESCO programs: the UNESCO/USGS program Reduction of Earthquake Risk in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, integrated in the framework of regional test areas activated by GSHAP in the larger Mediterranean area, the UNESCO/IUGS International Geological Correlation Program n.382: Seismotectonics and Seismic Hazard Assessment of the Mediterranean and the UNESCO/GFZ International Training Courses in Seismology and Seismic Hazard Assessment.
GSHAP is one of the programs selected by the ICSU Special Committee for the IDNDR as scientific contribution to the IDNDR, and then approved by the UN/IDNDR Scientific-Technical Committee as demonstration program of the Decade. Following the guidelines emerged in the 1994 UN/IDNDR Assembly in Yokohama, the STC has conducted an evaluation of the demonstration value of its programs (Moscow, 3/96); with regard to GSHAP, the Committee recommended that, in addition to regional hazard mapping, in its final phase GSHAP consider including products specifically geared toward practical implementation in risk mitigation strategies within the Decade time framework with special emphasis on megacities. These evaluation and suggestions were discussed by the GSHAP Steering Committee (Beijing, 8/96) and further elaborated during the meeting of the ICSU Special Committee for the IDNDR (Paris, 12/96). The GSHAP Steering Committee will prepare the plan for a one-year final phase taking into account the UN/IDNDR and ICSU suggestions, as specified in the following section.
CLOSING PHASE: 1997-1998
A one-year phase of completion of the GSHAP has been proposed by the Steering Committee, to be dedicated to the publication of the GSHAP results and to the compilation of products which could be of direct use in the final years of the Decade implementation. This closing phase will initiate following the 1997 IASPEI General Assembly (Greece, 8/97), where the Steering Committee will evaluate the overall implementation of the program.
Three possible tasks for the GSHAP closing phase have been proposed by the GSHAP Steering Committee, by the UN/IDNDR Scientific-Technical Committe and by the ICSU Special Committee on the IDNDR. More tasks could emerge in Greece.
I. To collect in uniform fashion and publish the databases and results developed during the implementation of the test areas; the publication of a special volume, collecting the reports from the test areas listed above, will be accompanied by the release of the databases, seismic source zoning and hazard maps, possibly on CD-ROM support.
II. The maps produced in the test areas will cover a large part of the world; to integrate the regional outputs and provide a reference, a uniform map of global seismic hazard will also be produced; a task group will be formed in Greece with the mandate of unifying and integrating the regional seismic zonings and produce a uniform global map for wide distribution.
III. The final years of the Decade will focus on the protection of megacities, moving from hazard assessment to engineering applications and risk mitigation strategies for multiple natural hazards in complex systems. Several UN sponsored initiatives are under way, including the program Risk Assessment and Diagnosis of Urban Areas against Seismic Disasters (RADIUS) sponsored by the IDNDR Secretariat. GSHAP has been requested to provide input to the megacities programs; the evaluation of site-specific seismic hazard for megacities located within the GSHAP test areas has been suggested by the ICSU SC/IDNDR. The cooperation between GSHAP and the megacities programs is expected to remain close in the final GSHAP phase.
More detailed specifications on these tasks will be developed in the coming year, and a final consensus and a precise schedule will be achieved at the GSHAP closing meeting in 1997
Report released on January 31, 1997, by D. Giardini, GSHAP Coordinator

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