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25 Global Links Related to Earthquakes (databases-maps)

Updated on May 14, 2018
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Has studied astrology/historical seismology since the late '70s in San Francisco. Published in the ISAR International Astrologer in 2012.


Introduction (for Seismic Researchers):

This collection of seismically related links is one that is the result of my many years researching the field in relation to my quest to find a link between astronomical phenomena and the occurrence of earthquakes (the last bonus link will take one to my collection of over 240 charts of significant earthquakes from the years 684 to 1999, with nearly 60% of those prior to the year 1900).

It is my hope that, by exploring some of my discoveries supplied here, you will find avenues of information that you did not know existed and, in addition perhaps, give not only myself, but astrology a little credit as well.

Worldwide Earthquakes (Searches for Recent Seismic Activity)

USGS Real-time Earthquake Map (past 7 or 30 days). One can also create a custom search and go back as far as the year 1900 (especially handy for searches of the largest earthquakes):

GEOFON Extended Virtual Network (GEVN) real-time bulletin of current seismic events (GFZ, Potsdam, Germany) for past 2-3 days plus link at bottom of page to go back as far as 2004.

Latest Earthquakes M4.0+ in the World - Past 30 days (IRIS). This is a good listing if one is looking for significant earthquakes in ones local area when lower magnitude seismic events are likely to be of interest. This way one may catch a possible swarm or series of shocks before a larger event:

Earthquake Catalogs (Recent Decades to Near Current):

INGV - Centro Nazionale Terremoti (National Earthquake Center, Italy, list earthquakes since 3 Apr 2005). Each reporting center for worldwide earthquakes usually reports the magnitudes of the larger events a bit different than another station would. The difference can be up to 0.3 in magnitude. As an example, two events in late 2016, reported by other repositories of information as being of 7.8 or 7.9 magnitude were reported at this earthquake center as being of 8.1 in magnitude. Italy, like Japan has a long history of earthquakes and they therefore have great insight when it comes to cataloging significant seismic events:

Global CMT Catalog Search (1976 to the present). This facility is funded by the National Science Foundation and originally went under the name of the Harvard CMT Project (through the year 2009). Although this site takes more time to post their magnitude estimates, they appear to have the most reliable assessments. They also include moment tensor images for each posting which can be used to learn the unique inner workings of any particular seismic event: (2011 to 2014 deadly/damaging earthquakes). The data collected here puts most of the emphasis on damage and casualty estimates for use by insurance companies (times of events are not considered important):

20th and 21st Century Databases

ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900-2013). This is perhaps the most comprehensive worldwide catalog to date and is the best source for seismic moment magnitudes. Over the next few years, the project that created this catalog will continue to fill in the missing data as much as is possible for the earlier years of the 20th century (as shown in the image below):

International Seismological Centre (ISC) Event Catalogue Search (1903-present; last few years not complete). This institution is part of the backbone of the project that created the catalog last linked to above. One advantage of this site is that they will list the different sources for a given magnitude estimate. The Italian institution with a link related to the second to the last image was discovered by the author through this source:

Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) Catalog Search (1898 to the present). This was the backbone of information used by the USGS for much of the earlier years of the 20th century. However, to a large extent, the information from this source has been replaced by the USGS with catalog information supplied by the ISC-GEM catalog (link given above). One noteworthy feature of the ANSS catalog, lacking in most catalogs, is that it looks at the seismically active years which occurred just before the start of the 20th century:

20th and 21st Century Maps:

Map with location of the large earthquakes contained within the Centennial Earthquake Catalog (1900-1999). Although the catalog from which the below image is based is now eclipsed by other, more recent and more comprehensive catalogs, this map of seismic activity is one of the best this author has seen:

Seismicity of the Earth (1900-2013) maps (USGS). If one is researching the seismic history of an active area of the earth, this source should be helpful in that it allows one to zoom in and get detailed earthquake information for many such areas on the globe:

Seismic Hazard Maps and Data (USGS). Here you can even create your own local hazard and probability map. This is another good source of information for a research project (especially for school) :

Shake Maps (USGS). Although the USGS may not have created the first seismic maps showing the intensity of a seismic event in layers of greatest to least amount of shaking, they have perfected it to an art form. This information from medium sized quakes can be used to determine how even larger quakes will effect a given area in the future:

Google Earth/KML Files (USGS). Highly recommended is the use of Google Earth. These files supplied by the USGS can be used to load seismic information into that program so one can visualize them in precise detail on a globe. The author uses this information in combination with eclipse information to look at the relationship between the two. As an example one can compare the three largest earthquakes that followed (within 1.5 years) a solar eclipse in July 1963. Quakes that size did not occur again worldwide till almost 40 years later and they were within 800 km of the center of the earlier eclipse path:

Seismic Hazard Maps of the World ( This source supplies images that were the result of a United Nations project called the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program (assembling the first consistent, worldwide maps of earthquake zones). One of these maps was used at the start of this hub:

Historical Earthquake Databases:

The Significant Earthquake Database (NOAA); 2150 B.C. to the present time. This catalog was part of the first sources of information that this author used to study the history of seismicity. I made copies from microfiche from the original July 1981 copy back in the day and it has notes written all over it. Ten years later I bought an updated hard copy and it is still used by this author although it is falling apart. One advantage of the hard copies is that it contains sources for each entry. I am supplying a link to the 1992 and 1981 printed versions of this catalog following the link to the on-line version:

Dr. Tokuji Utsu (1928-2004), Professor Emeritus of Tokyo University, compiled the "Catalog of Damaging Earthquakes in the World," which contains more than 10,000 destructive earthquakes in the world from 3000 B.C. It is a primary source for the author, particularly in regards to determining the time of occurrence to deadly, centuries old earthquakes. An especially good source for earthquakes in Japan and in China:

Wikipedia "List of 20th-century earthquakes" (also has links to pre and post 20th-century earthquakes). A very reliable source of information, especially as it pertains to earthquakes. The earthquake catalogs that they supply are regularly updated:

Historical Earthquakes by Region:

European Archive of Historical Earthquake Data (AHEAD), 1010-1899. Click a date in the left window and a little box pops up on the map with a pointer to the epicenter of the seismic event. Inside that box at the bottom is a link that will take you to another page giving another map with greater detail and the sources of information, listing detailed information from those sources. This is an excellent reference. The only drawback is that they may use either the Local Time or the Universal Time of occurrence (depending on what their source used):

This is the closest source of information that I have found which may have been extracted from a page once run by the USGS entitled "Historic Earthquakes in the United States and Its Territories". Unfortunately the links on this page attempt to retrieve information from the USGS site but those pages have been since discontinued. As a result, I am also supplying a link to Wikipedia's page devoted to historical earthquakes in the U.S.:

Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Google Books). This reference is important for anyone doing research on historical earthquakes in the U.S. and it is good to see that Google Books has made it available:

'Parametric Catalogue of Italian Earthquakes, 1005-2006. This reference is indispensable for those researching historic Italian earthquakes. There is also an earlier version available (CPTI11) which should be referred to also (the newer one is not always the best one to refer to depending on the quake being researched):

Historical Earthquake Databases Prior to the 20th Century:

GHEA - Global Historical Earthquake Archive - A GEM Hazard Global Component (1008AD-1903AD). This is similar to the European Archive of Historical Earthquake Data (AHEAD), 1010-1899 since it is for an almost identical period and one is able to refer to the references in detail from the web interface link below (second link). It also has a similar drawback though in that the times given may be either in Local or Universal Time. Still, this source is one of the best for determining magnitudes for historical earthquakes prior to the 20th century:

A Catalogue of Destructive Earthquakes. A.D. 7 to A.D. 1899 (John Milne). This is one of the best sources of information for historical earthquakes by a rock solid pioneer of the early days of seismology. The only drawback is that it lacks such things as the time of occurrence in most cases. Doesn't go into great detail for each event either:

The Earthquake Cataolog of The British Association by Robert Mallet (from the Transactions of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1852-1858); lists earthquakes from 1606 B.C. to 1850 A.D. (via Google Books). This is perhaps the most ambitious effort made by one compiler of earthquake information ever attempted. This catalog gives more detail than Milne's and often the local time is given also. The Irish engineer responsible for this achievement, who had a passion for studying earthquakes, was an even earlier pioneer who laid down a foundation for future studies on the subject:

Other Related Websites (Bonus Links):

Earthquake Seismometer Equations and Formulas Calculator (Energy to Magnitude):

Earthquake Seismometer Equations & Formulas Calculator (Magnitude to Energy):

In case anybody shares my interest in both earthquakes and astrology, one can find my catalog of at least 240 earthquake charts from 684-1999 at the Astro-Databank:

© 2012 Joseph Ritrovato


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