The Working Group on Historical Seismology in Northern Europe was established in 2003. Northern Europe covers Fennoscandia, the Baltic countries and NW Russia, and ‘historical' refers to pre-instrumental times. Most of the work focuses on the years between 1750 and 1960. At this stage of analysis only macroseismic datasets are under investigation. The working group has two main objectives: to create a digital database of historical earthquakes in Northern Europe and to investigate the earthquakes using modern methodologies.
The first objective is quite practical. Information on historical earthquakes in the region can currently be found in numerous reports, often written in local languages, and may be somewhat arduous to find. A digital database is a very convenient means to store and investigate these observations.
Besides constructing the database, the Working Group aims at studying pre-instrumental earthquakes in the region with the help of recent geoscientific knowledge and modern methodologies. Many of the available studies are contemporary with the earthquakes and do not meet the research standards of today.
The participating institutions are currently
- Department of Information Science, University of Uppsala, Sweden;
- Kort & Matrikelstyrelsen, Copenhagen, Denmark;
- Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway;
- National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Cairo , Egypt;
- Institute of Seismology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland;
- Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia;
- State Geological Survey of Latvia, Riga Latvia;
- Geological Survey of Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania
From the Institute of Seismology: