Legacy Seismograms
The ESC Working group

The ESC Working group

The ESC (European Seismological Commission) is a regional IASPEI commission that promotes seismological studies and projects in Europe and Mediterranean countries. Within the Commission,  Working Groups have defined tasks and are set up with the purpose of studying specific scientific problems.

The objective of the ESC Working Group 02-12Preservation, valorisation and analysis of seismological legacy data” is to foster collaboration and coordination for the Preservation, Dissemination, and Use of analog seismograms and, also, of bulletins and related documents (bulletins, clock state books, station logs, etc. – even instruments!) generated in the “analog times” (since the starting of instrumental seismic recording up to -approx.- the end of the XXth century). 

Analog seismograms and related documents are unique documents preserving information about earthquakes that occurred in the past and also of other phenomena such as the seismic noise generated by storms, meteorites, etc.

1887 FEBRUARY 23
First record of a European earthquake. Imperia (Liguria)
earthquake, 1887-02-23, Moncalieri Observatory

…to foster collaboration and coordination for the Preservation, Dissemination, and Use of analog seismograms…
First teleseismic record worldwide. 1889-04-17 Japan
earthquake, records at Potsdam -above- and Wilhelmshaven – below.

The Earthquakes and other phenomena recorded in the analog waveforms are useful inputs for present studies on seismotectonics, seismic hazards, and risks. Also, for studying other phenomena recorded with the old seismic instruments. 

“Mainka horizontal seismograph”. Fabra Observatory, Barcelona.

As well as it is important to preserve these records for the future, it is necessary to ease access to the seismograms (and other related documents). 

These actions are also directed to foster new research.

The WG is led by

  • Josep Batlló (Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya)
  • Thomas Lecocq (Royal Observatory of Belgium)

Raphael De Plaen (Royal Observatory of Belgium) is acting as secretary