The history of historical earthquake research in Germany

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G. Grünthal


The paper summarizes the history of collecting and evaluating information on earthquakes in Germany. A rich literature
mentioning historical and contemporary earthquakes has existed since the 16th century. Early earthquake catalogues began to appear in the middle of the 16th century, some of which report earthquakes in Germany dating back to the 9th century. Modern seismological views were introduced in connection with intense philosophical
analysis of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, which was largely observed in Central Europe. The 19th century was characterized
by a tremendous increase in detailed earthquake studies as well as earthquake compilations in the form of catalogues. The most comprehensive non-parametric catalogues were created in the middle of the 20th century, while the first digital parametric catalogues were published in the 1980s. This was also the time when critical studies on the re-interpretation of historical earthquakes began. Only in the 1990s was such analysis made in a systematic
manner resulting in numerous publications and the current development of a modern earthquake catalogue.

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How to Cite
Grünthal G. The history of historical earthquake research in Germany. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2004Dec.25 [cited 2022Oct.2];47(2-3). Available from:

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