Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering

2015 Edition
| Editors: Michael Beer, Ioannis A. Kougioumtzoglou, Edoardo Patelli, Siu-Kui Au

Intensity Scale ESI 2007 for Assessing Earthquake Intensities

  • Pablo G. SilvaEmail author
  • Alessandro Maria Michetti
  • Luca Guerrieri
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35344-4_31


Earthquake geological effects; Environmental seismic intensity; Macroseismic scale


Earthquake intensity scales were introduced at the end of the nineteenth century (e.g., Rossi-Forel, Cancani, Mercalli) in order to characterize source parameters, damage distribution, and environmental impact of relevant seismic events. These intensity scales were based on a classification of earthquake effects on humans, on buildings, and on the natural environment.

Intensity provides a measure of earthquake-induced damage both at a site (local intensity) and at the epicenter (epicentral intensity). It is important to note that intensity evaluations consider the coseismic effects in the whole range of frequencies of vibratory ground motion, together with those resulting from static, finite deformations (fault ground ruptures). It is common practice to use the term “macroseismicity” to describe effects that are measurable with the intensity scales, because very small earthquakes...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Ali Z, Qaisar M, Mahmood T, Shah MA, Iqbal T, Serva L, Michetti AM, Burton PW (2009) The Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, earthquake of 8 October 2005: surface faulting, environmental effects and macroseismic intensity. Geol Soc London Spec Publ 316:155–172Google Scholar
  2. Audemard FA, Michetti AM (2011) Geological criteria for evaluating seismicity revisited: forty Years of paleoseismic investigations and the natural record of past earthquakes. Geological Society of America special paper, Washington, USA, 479. pp 1–22Google Scholar
  3. Becker A, Ferry M, Monecke K, Schnellmann M, Giardini D (2005) Multiarchive paleoseismic record of late Pleistocene and Holocene strong earthquakes in Switzerland. Tectonophysics 400(1–4):153–177Google Scholar
  4. Berzhinskii YA, Ordynskaya AP, Gladkov AS, Lunina OV, Berzhinskaya LP, Radziminovich NA, Radziminovich YB, Imayev VS, Chipizubov AV, Smekalin OP (2010) Application of the ESI_2007 scale for estimating the intensity of the Kultuk earthquake, August 27, 2008 (South Baikal). Seismic Instruments 46(4):307–324Google Scholar
  5. Dengler L, McPherson R (1993) The 17 August 1991 Honeydew earthquake north coast California: a case for revising the Modified Mercalli Scale in sparsely populated areas. Bull Seismol Soc Am 83(4):1081–1094Google Scholar
  6. Di Manna P, Guerrieri L, Piccardi L, Vittori E, Castaldini D, Berlusconi A, Michetti AM (2013) Ground effects induced by the 2012 seismic sequence in Emilia: implications for seismic hazard assessment in the Po Plain. Ann Geophys 55(4):727–733Google Scholar
  7. Dowrick DJ (1996) The modified Mercalli earthquake intensity scale- revisions arising from recent studies of New Zealand earthquakes. Bull New Zealand Nat Soc Earthq Eng 29(2):92–106Google Scholar
  8. Fountoulis IG, Mavroulis SD (2013) Application of the environmental seismic intensity scale (ESI 2007) and the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS-98) to the Kalamata (SW Peloponnese, Greece) earthquake (Ms = 6.2, September 13, 1986) and correlation with neotectonic structures and active faults. Ann Geophys 56(6):S0675Google Scholar
  9. Gojsar A (2012) Application of environmental seismic intensity scale (ESI 2007) to Krn Mountains 1998 Mw = 5.6 earthquake (NW Slovenia) with emphasis on rockfalls. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 12:1659–1670Google Scholar
  10. Grunthal G (1998) European macroseismic scale 1998 (EMS-98). European Seismological Commission, Subcommission on Engineering Seismology, Working Group Macroseismic Scales, Conseil de l’Europe, Cahiers du Centre Européen de Géodynamique et de Séismologie, 15, Luxembourg, 99 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Guerrieri L, Blumetti AM, Esposito E, Michetti AM, Porfido S, Serva L, Tondi E, Vittori E (2008) Capable faulting, environmental effects and seismic landscape in the area affected by the 1997 Umbria-Marche (Central Italy) seismic sequence. Tectonophysics 476(1–2):269–281Google Scholar
  12. Hancox GT, Perrin ND, Dellow GD (2002) Recent studies of historical earthquake-induced landsliding, ground damage, and MM intensity in New Zealand. Bull New Zealand Nat Soc Earthq Eng 35(2):59–95Google Scholar
  13. Lalinde CP, Sanchez JA (2007) Earthquake and environmental effects in Colombia in the last 35 years. INQUA Scale Project. Bull Seism Soc Am 97(2):646–654Google Scholar
  14. Lander JF, Whiteside LS, Lockridge PA (2003) Two decades of global Tsunamis 1982–2002. The International Journal of the Tsunami Society (21–1), NOAA – NGDC, Boulder, 73 ppGoogle Scholar
  15. Mavroulis SD, Fountoulis IG, Skourtsos EN, Lekkas EL, Papanikolaou I (2013) Seismic intensity assignments for the 2008 Andravida (NW Peloponnese, Greece) strike-slip event (June 8, Mw 6.4) based on the application of the Environmental Seismic Intensity scale (ESI 2007) and the European Macroseismic scale (EMS-98). Geological structure, active tectonics, earthquake environmental effects and damage pattern. Ann Geophys 56(6):S0681. doi:10.4401/ag-6239Google Scholar
  16. McCalpin JP (2009) Paleoseismology, 2nd edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 613 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Michetti AM, Esposito E, Gürpinar A, Mohammadioun B, Mohammadioun J, Porfido S, Roghozin E, Serva L, Tatevossian R, Vittori E, Audemard F, Comerci V, Marco S, McCalpin J, Mörner NA (2004) The INQUA scale. An innovative approach for assessing earthquake intensities based on seismically-induced ground effects in natural environment. In: Vittori E, Comerci V (ed) Memorie Descrittive della Carta Geologicad’ Italia, APAT, Roma, LXVII-116Google Scholar
  18. Michetti AM, Esposito E, Guerrieri L, Porfido S, Serva L, Tatevossian R, Vittori E, Audemard F, Azuma T, Clague J, Comerci V, Gürpinar A, Mc Calpin J, Mohammadioun B, Mörner NA, Ota Y, Roghozin E (2007) Intensity scale ESI 2007. In: Guerrieri L, Vittori E (ed) Mem. Descr. Carta Geologica d’Italia, Servizio Geologico d’Italia, Dipartimento Difesa del Suolo, APAT, Rome, 74pGoogle Scholar
  19. Musson RMW, Grunthal G, Stucchi M (2010) The comparison of macroseismic intensity scales. J Seismol 14:413–428Google Scholar
  20. Ota Y, Azuma T, Lin N (2009) Application of INQUA environmental seismic intensity scale to recent earthquakes in Japan and Taiwan. Geol Soc London Spec Publ 316:55–71Google Scholar
  21. Papadopoulos G, Imamura F (2001) A proposal for a new tsunami intensity scale, ITS 2001 Proceedings 20th International Tsunami Conference, Seattle, USA. Session 5–1. pp. 569–577Google Scholar
  22. Papanikolaou ID (2011) Uncertainty in intensity assignment and attenuation relationships: how seismic hazard maps can benefit from the implementation of the environmental seismic intensity scale (ESI 2007). Quatern Int 242:42–51Google Scholar
  23. Papathanassiou G, Pavlides S (2007) Using the INQUA scale for the assessment of intensity: case study of the 2003 Lefkada (Ionian Islands), Greece earthquake. Quatern Int 173–174:4–14Google Scholar
  24. Reicherter K, Michetti AM, Silva PG (eds) (2009) Palaeoseismology: historical and prehistorical records of earthquake ground effects for seismic hazard assessment. Geological Society of London, Special Publications, 316. London, 160 ppGoogle Scholar
  25. Richter CF (1958) Elementary Seismology. Freeman & Co. San Francisco, USA. 768pGoogle Scholar
  26. Serva L (1994) The effects on the ground in the intensity scales. Terra Nova 6:414–416Google Scholar
  27. Serva L, Esposito E, Guerrieri L, Porfido S, Vittori E, Comerci V (2007) Environmental effects from some historical earthquakes in Southern Apennines (Italy) and macroseismic intensity assessment. Contribution to INQUA EEE scale project. Quatern Int 173–174:30–44Google Scholar
  28. Sieberg A (1930) Geologie der Erdbeben. Handboch der Geophysic 4:552–554Google Scholar
  29. Silva PG, Sintubin M, Reicherter K (eds) (2011) Earthquake archaeology and palaeoseismology. Quaternary International, vol 241(1). Elsevier, Amsterdam, 258 ppGoogle Scholar
  30. Silva PG, Rodríguez-Pascua MA, Giner JL, Pérez-López R, Lario J, Perucha MA, Bardají T, Huerta P, Roquero E, Bautista B (2014) Catálogo de los efectos geológicos de los terremotos en España. Publications Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) Serie Riesgos Geológicos/Geotécnia, 4. IGME, Madrid, 358 ppGoogle Scholar
  31. Tatevossian RE (2007) The Verny, 1887, Earthquake in Central Asia: application of the INQUA scale based on coseismic environmental effects. Dark nature: rapid environmental change and human response. Quatern Int 173–174:23–29Google Scholar
  32. Wells LD, Coppersmith JK (1994) New empirical relationships among magnitude, rupture length, rupture width, rupture area, and surface displacement. Bull Seismol Soc Am 84:974–1002Google Scholar
  33. Wood HO, Neumann F (1931) Modified Mercalli intensity scale of 1931. Bull Seismol Soc Am 21(4):277–283Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo G. Silva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alessandro Maria Michetti
    • 2
  • Luca Guerrieri
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de GeologíaUniversidad de Salamanca, Escuela Politécnica Superior de ÁvilaAvilaSpain
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienza e Alta TecnologiaUniversità dell’InsubriaComoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Geological SurveyISPRA, Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca AmbientaleRomeItaly