Journal of Seismology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 535–570 | Cite as

The European-Mediterranean Earthquake Catalogue (EMEC) for the last millennium

  • Gottfried Grünthal
  • Rutger Wahlström
Original Article


The catalogue by Grünthal et al. (J Seismol 13:517–541, 2009a) of earthquakes in central, northern, and north-western Europe with M w ≥ 3.5 (CENEC) has been expanded to cover also southern Europe and the Mediterranean area. It has also been extended in time (1000–2006). Due to the strongly increased seismicity in the new area, the threshold for events south of the latitude 44°N has here been set at M w ≥ 4.0, keeping the lower threshold in the northern catalogue part. This part has been updated with data from new and revised national and regional catalogues. The new Euro-Mediterranean Earthquake Catalogue (EMEC) is based on data from some 80 domestic catalogues and data files and over 100 special studies. Available original M w and M 0 data have been introduced. The analysis largely followed the lines of the Grünthal et al. (J Seismol 13:517–541, 2009a) study, i.e., fake and duplicate events were identified and removed, polygons were specified within each of which one or more of the catalogues or data files have validity, and existing magnitudes and intensities were converted to M w. Algorithms to compute M w are based on relations provided locally, or more commonly on those derived by Grünthal et al. (J Seismol 13:517–541, 2009a) or in the present study. The homogeneity of EMEC with respect to M w for the different constituents was investigated and improved where feasible. EMEC contains entries of some 45,000 earthquakes. For each event, the date, time, location (including focal depth if available), intensity I 0 (if given in the original catalogue), magnitude M w (with uncertainty when given), and source (catalogue or special study) are presented. Besides the main EMEC catalogue, large events before year 1000 in the SE part of the investigated area and fake events, respectively, are given in separate lists.


Earthquake catalogue European Mediterranean region Unified moment magnitude 



For access to new catalogues and other data, our thanks are due to S. Aliaj (for Albania data), A. Harbi (Algeria), Ch. Hammerl and W. Lenhardt (Austria), J. Batlló (Azores and Catalonia), B. Glavatović and M. Herak (the Balkans), Th. Camelbeeck (Belgium), R. Glavcheva, I. Paskaleva (Bulgaria), M. Uski (Fennoscandia), J. Lambert and M. Nicolas (France), C. Papaioannou and B. Papazachos (Greece), A. I. Álvarez (Iberia and Maghreb), M. Stucchi (Italy), L. Feldman, A. Hofstetter, and A. Shapira (Near East), H. Bungum (Norway), B. Guterch (Poland), F. Carrilho and S. Vilanova (Portugal), D. Fäh (Switzerland), D. Kalafat and K. Sesetyan (Turkey), and R. Musson (UK). The authors also wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for valuable remarks. Our colleague D. Stromeyer provided significant contributions to the study. Other institutional colleagues contributing were, Ch. Bosse, U. Lemgo, K. Schellbach, S. Strutzke, and A. Wirth. Financial support was provided from Aon Benfield.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section “Seismic Hazard and Stress Field”PotsdamGermany

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