"Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (EMFCSC)
International School of Geophysics
Director: E. Boschi

21st Course
Workshop "Investigating the records of past earthquakes"
Directors: V. Garcia Acosta,R.W.M. Musson,M. Stucchi

Erice (Sicily), Italy, 1-7 July 2002

Sponsored by Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV)


The workshop will be held at the "Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (EMFCSC, http://www.ccsem.infn.it/) in the historic and artistic town of Erice, located at the western end of Sicily.

Participants should arrive on Monday, July 1, and depart not later than the afternoon of Sunday, July 7. Special cases can be considered upon request.

Post-conference field-trip
A tour to Sicilian areas damaged by earthquakes, including the archaeological site of Selinunte and the region mostly destroyed by the 1693 event (ýVal di Notoţ), will take place leaving from Erice on July 7 to July 9 or 10.
The number of participants is limited to 30 persons.
Click here for more info.

Purpose of the workshop
In recent years historical seismology, the investigation of the records of past earthquakes, has been acquiring growing importance as a powerful tool for understanding long-term seismicity and for contributing to the assessment of seismic hazard. At the same time, investigators of this subject have found it necessary to establish new and rigorous procedures of investigation; consequently, data emerging from historical earthquake studies is  now much more reliable and suitable for the various applications to which they may be put.
The purpose of this school is to bring together for the first time experts and young researchers in this field from all over the world, focusing the discussion on the following topics:

  1. a review of the ongoing activities (state-of-the-art, goals, methodologies, results, perspectives, etc.) in the field of historical seismology worldwide, with special emphasis on the compilation of historical earthquake catalogues and databases;
  2. the presentation, comparison, and discussion of special case histories;
  3. the discussion of the potential value of records of past earthquakes with selected representatives of typical end-users, such as scientists working on the assessment of seismogenic sources and/or seismic hazard, earthquake engineers, etc.
  4. the establishment of the main guidelines of a project for the compilation of a planetary catalogue and database of historical earthquake data.

The meeting will consist of invited presentations, general discussions and thematic round-tables on the following topics:

Participants (not included in the list below) wishing to contribute should contact one of the directors.

Lecturers (preliminary list)
R. Adams, Honorary Seismologist, International Seismological Centre, Thatcham, UK
N.N. Ambraseys, Imperial College of Science, Technoloy and Medicine, London, UK
P. Albini, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Milano, ITALY
R. Azzaro, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Catania, ITALY
D. Benouar, University of Algiers, Alger, ALGERIA
R. Bilham, University of Colorado, CO, USA
G. Downes, Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences, Lower Hutt, NEW ZEALAND
V. García-Acosta, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudio Superiores en Antropologia Social, Mexico City, MEXICO
A. Giesecke, Centro Regional de Sismología para América del Sur, Lima, PERU
J. Grases, Caracas, VENEZUELA
Ch. Hammerl, Zentralanstalt fuer Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, AUSTRIA
K. Ishibashi, University of Kobe, Kobe, JAPAN
I. Karcz, Jerusalem, ISRAEL
P. Labak, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA
K. McCue, Australian Geological Survey Organisation, Canberra, AUSTRALIA
A. Molina, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudio Superiores en Antropologia Social, Mexico City, MEXICO
R.M.W. Musson, British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, UK
A. Roca, Istitut Cartografic de Catalunya, Barcelona, Catalunya, ESPANA
K. Satake, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, JAPAN
S.P. Satyabala, National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, INDIA
R. Sbeinati, Atomic Energy Commission, Damascus, SYRIA
M. Stucchi, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Milano, ITALY
R. Tatevossian, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, RUSSIA
S. Tobriner, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
T. Toppozada, California Division of Mines and Geology, Sacramento, CA, USA
G. Valensise, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Roma, ITALY
J. Vogt, Strasbourg, FRANCE

The programme will be finalised in the next few weeks.
Please, check the updates periodically on the relevant webpage.

There is room for a maximum of 80 participants and a few accompanying persons. We especially encourage application of PhD students and young researchers. Thanks to sponsoring institution, partial support can be granted to some deserving participants who need financial help.

In the meeting room we will have at least:

Registration and fees
The cost for the Workshop is 600 USD. This includes full boarding (except for beverages) and lodging for 6 days and nights, meeting costs, transportation to/from Palermo airport and one half-day excursion.
The payment may be made either  in cash  (US Dollars or Euros at the current conversion rate), or by eurocheques, personal cheques, traveller cheques directly to the administrative staff (Mr. Pino Aceto) of the Centre during the meeting. Although it is a small place, Erice has banks, automatic tellers and exchange services.
The Ettore Majorana Centre will not accept payment by credit cards.
The payment may be made by bank transfer (to be settled before the participant's departure from Erice).

Persons wishing to attend to the Workshop should apply in writing to:

Massimiliano Stucchi
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Department of Milano
via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
phone +39 0223699280 or 262
fax +39 0223699267
e-mail erice@mi.ingv.it


  1. date and place of birth, together with present nationality
  2. degree and other academic qualifications
  3. list of main publications
  4. present position and place of work.

The closing date for application is May 20, 2002.
Detailed information will be sent/posted to successful applicants together with the letter of acceptance not later than May 31, 2002.

Climate and clothing
Erice is at 700 m elevation. Temperatures can be quite warm (to 30 degrees) during the day at the beginning of July.
The temperature seldom drops below 15 degrees, even at night. But sometimes evenings/nights may be a bit chilly, so light sweaters and jackets are recommended. For the one half-day trip we suggest you to bring comfortable shoes.

The person in charge of pre-conference and on-site organization and logistics is:

Ms. Carmen Mirto
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Department of Milano
via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
phone +39-0223699280 or 271
fax +39-0223699267
e-mail mirto@mi.ingv.it

The full address of the Ettore Majorana Centre is:
"Ettore Majorana" Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture
via Guarnotta 26, 91016 Erice (TP), Italy
phone +39 0923869068 or 869133
fax +39 0923869226
e-mail pino@ccsem.infn.it