Earthquake Field Missions

Post-earthquake reconnaissance is an integral part of the research work of an earthquake engineer. They are essential for the study of the causes of damage to urban infrastructure and of the economic and social effects of these events. To date EPICentre researchers have undertaken  6 earthquake field missions and 3 tsunami reconnaissance missions, mostly as part of the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) of the UK Institution of Structural Engineers.

In each case, the observed causes of structural damage and geotechnical failures have been studied, presentations made at UK professional institutions, reports and journal articles have been written and recommendations made on the adequacy of particular country seismic codes. In 2010 a proposal (on which Dr Rossetto is Co-I) was submitted to EPSRC and granted for the continued funding of EEFIT missions over the next 5 years. This will allow the EEFIT membership to deploy missions more rapidly but also to return to earthquake affected sites in order to study the recovery process.

As part of the grant a damage data collection app will be developed (led by University of Newcastle), and meetings are scheduled to take place between EEFIT and EERI, GEER, GNS Science and other international bodies that participate in earthquake missions, in order to develop common protocols and data collection methods and promote data sharing. As part of this commitment, initial field observations from the 5.9 Mw earthquake that hit the Emilia Romagna region of Italy on the 20th May 2012, can be viewed in Google Earth. To access these field observations download the kml file and instructions.


Other reconnaissance missions with EEFIT includes Nepal 2015 (Viviana Novelli), 2011 Tohoku (Joshua Macabuag), 2010 Chile (Dina D'Ayala, Tristan Lloyd), 2009 South Pacific Islands (Tristan Lloyds, Tristan Robinson), 2009 L'Aquila (Tiziana Rossetto, Enrica Verrucci, Victoria Sword-Daniels), 2008 Wenchuan (Tiziana Rossetto, Enrica Verrucci), 2007 Kent (Tiziana Rossetto), 2005 Kashmir (Tiziana Rossetto), 1999 Kocaeli (Dina D'Ayala) and 1997 Marche (Dina D'Ayala) Earthquakes.

Between 2011 and 2015 Prof Rossetto was Chairperson of the UK Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT). In 2015 this position has been taken by Tristan Lloyd. The reports can be found here:



Sponsors: EPSRC