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Vol. 53, n.4, December 2012
pp. 485-508

Coupled seismogenic geohazards in Alpine regions

D. FÄH, J.R. MOORE, J. BURJANEK, I. IOSIFESCU, L. DALGUER, F. DUPRAY, C. MICHEL, J. WOESSNER, A. VILLIGER, J. LAUE, I. MARSCHALL, V. GISCHIG, S. LOEW, A. MARIN, G. GASSNER, S. ALVAREZ, W. BALDERER, P. KÄSTLI, D. GIARDINI, C. IOSIFESCU, L. HURNI, P. LESTUZZI, A. KARBASSI, C. BAUMANN, A. GEIGER, A. FERRARI, L. LALOUI, J. CLINTON and N. DEICHMANN

Received: May 17, 2011; accepted: October 24, 2011

Abstract

COupled seismogenic GEohazards in Alpine Regions (COGEAR) is an interdisciplinary natural hazard project investigating the hazard chain induced by earthquakes. It addresses tectonic processes and the related variability of seismicity in space and time, earthquake forecasting and short-term precursors, and strong ground motion as a result of source and complex path effects. We study non-linear wave propagation phenomena, liquefaction and triggering of landslides in soil and rock, as well as earthquake-induced snow avalanches. The Valais, and in particular parts of the Rhone, Visper, and Matter valleys have been selected as study areas. Tasks include detailed field investigations, development and application of numerical modeling techniques, assessment of the susceptibility to seismically induced effects, and installation of different monitoring systems to test and validate our models. These systems are for long-term operation and include a continuous GPS and seismic networks, a test installation for observing earthquake precursors, and a system to study site-effects and non-linear phenomena in two test areas (Visp, St. Niklaus / Randa). Risk-related aspects relevant for buildings and lifelines are also considered.

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