Acta Geodaetica et Geophysica

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 39–62

The four strongest earthquakes in Tyrol/ Austria during XVIth and XVIIth centuries: from archival sources to macroseismic intensities


DOI: 10.1007/s40328-014-0083-3

Cite this article as:
Hammerl, C. Acta Geod Geophys (2015) 50: 39. doi:10.1007/s40328-014-0083-3


Knowledge of historical earthquakes has become more important in recent years. Complete and accurate information is necessary in order to carry out a coherent seismic hazard assessment of a specific area. In particular, since the introduction of Eurocode-8, the building code for the construction of earthquake-resistant buildings in Europe, the importance of new assessments of historical earthquakes due to the state of the art has increased, as the assessment period for the determination of seismic hazard was extended from 100 to more than 450 years.

Tyrol has repeatedly been exposed to stronger earthquakes in the past. The four strongest, previously known earthquakes were reviewed and re-assessed for the first time according to the state of the art. These were: 1. November 1571, 4. January 1572, 17. July 1670 and 22. December 1689.

Within the INTERREG IV A project HAREIA—Historical and Recent Earthquakes in Italy and Austria (2009-2012), existing interpretations for the mentioned damaging earthquakes in Tyrol were analysed and the historical information was checked and completed by means of contemporary sources from the archives.

The earthquake of 1571 could be identified as a fake and the epicentral intensity of the 1572 earthquake was downgraded due to the information of the contemporary sources. Several new sources have been found in the archives for the earthquakes of 1670 and 1689, which leads to much more detailed knowledge of the events.

An important result of this study is, among other things, that for the first time macroseismic data points are available, which allows transparency in the assessment of the new parameters and contributes to the seismic history of single locations.


Historical earthquakes Seismic hazard Original sources 

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ZAMGViennaAustria

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