SisFrance provides access to one thousand years of seismic activity in mainland France. The national database on historical seismic events in mainland France was created more than forty years ago by BRGM, EDF and IRSN, and is still being updated on an ongoing basis.
Collecting historical data on French seismic events
Metropolitan France is located far away from global plate boundaries where crust deformation is dominant. Seismic activity in Europe is considered to be weak, and is typical of intracontinental regions with low deformation rates. This means that there are long periods between major seismic events: over one thousand years of history, there have been on average just one highly destructive earthquake and four earthquakes causing serious damage every century.
SisFrance is a large-scale programme that aims to characterise France’s historical seismic activity by researching and analysing earthquake testimonies preserved by literary heritage. This evidence forms the basis for macro-seismicity, which refers to seismic events whose effects can be described.
The reference database for accessing information on historical earthquake events in France
With more user-friendly navigation offering users a greater variety of exploration options, the new SisFrance website provides visitors with a tool for querying the database using temporal (based on dates), spatial (based on location or coordinates) or earthquake-intensity criteria.