ISC-GEM catalogue coming soon

The ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Catalogue team will release v1 of the catalogue on January 31st. More than 20,000 events cover 110 years of seismic history in a highly homogenous way. Thousands of records were processed, which has led to improved, homogeneous estimates of magnitude and location. All main parameters are furnished with estimates of uncertainty. This results in a unique global catalogue that can be used for global hazard assessment and as well as contribute to harmonizing ongoing efforts to compile more detailed regional catalogues.

Overall progress and updates

Discover the latest progress of the various GEM groups through the presentations they gave at the Semi-Annual Meeting and get a feel for the atmosphere looking at the photos.
And of course there is more to be found on the new GEM website – so do look around!

News from the regions


The SHARE programme is coming to an end and the first integrated hazard model is expected at the start of April (see more). GEM and NERA are working together on defining European building typologies and developing an exposure model.

Middle East:

The EMME project is working hard to have major results ready before the final meeting in May. In particular the city scenarios in Mashad, Gulshen-Karachi, Irbid, Tblisi, Yerevan and Tyr are providing promising results. See more.

Central Asia:

Collaboration is advancing well through Memorandi of Understanding with many organisations in the region. EMCA’s focus in 2012 was on site effect studies in Duhanbe and Korogh and monitoring of buildings. 2013 will see the first integrated hazard model and much more. See more.

Sub-Saharan Africa:

Activity in the region increased this summer, after meetings and trainings in CapeTown when a first step was made in development of an integrated hazard model. Six experts from the different sub-regions came to Pavia in November and another meeting will soon take place in the region. Read the report and find out more from their blog post (see below).

Caribbean & Central America: 

Initial activities in the region are being extended to the ‘Insular Caribbean’ (Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic) and Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) thanks to collaboration with the SESDS group of the Madrid Polytechnic University. See more.

South America:

The Seismic Risk in South America (SARA) project will kick off in January (see also on the right). Read more.


GEM links up with several existing programmes and projects, in particular to collaborate on seismic hazard assessment. Researchers from Taiwan recently spent time at the Model Facility jointly working on hazard modeling activities, and members of the GEM Secretariat have also regularly participated in the tri-lateral meetings between Japan-China-Korea. In 2012 there were OpenQuake training workshops in Indonesia and the Philippines, and 2013 will see an increase in such technology transfer activities, with a first OpenQuake training workshop planned in Kathmandu in March.

A brand new GEM: update

A new brochure, new presentation templates, and a restyled GEM Nexus; as you can see, our new branding has been implemented throughout. We are still very much working on our website. Later this month the ‘beta’ will disappear and you will have full access to GEM information presented in a new and fresh way, with many ways to interact with us. Any comments? Leave them here or on our Facebook page.

Best wishes for 2013!

We would like to wish you all a fantastic 2013! To not forget all that happened in 2012, we created a short overview for you, plus an outlook of what 2013 might bring. Check 'Highlights 2012'.

You can leave comments on our Facebook page.

Together with GFDRR -
making risk assessment tools more useful for all

The GEM Building Taxonomy

The GEM Building Taxonomy has evolved. Version 2.0 that now contains 13 building attributes, rather than 8, is currently used by all physical risk global components. The taxonomy now allows us to capture much more information that can be of (future) relevance for risk assessment. Tools and videos have been developed to ease working with the taxonomy.

All those interested in the building taxonomy are invited to participate in a final testing exercise that we will soon jointly launch with EERI/WHE. Keep an eye on our website for more.

New partners

GEM’s recent Semi-Annual meeting saw some new faces; new partners came on board and a number of potential partners participated as guests.

Since September, Japan’s National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) is reinforcing the public part of GEM’s partnership, as is the Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool (TCIP), who now formally represents the country on GEM’s Governing Board. The California Seismic Safety Commission is working as an associate partner to get projects of the ground that can help GEM progress, and ICSU/IRDR joined GEM as an associate participant too.

And last but certainly not least, the Swiss Re Foundation is supporting a large 3-year project for regional collaboration in South America (SARA), covering seismic hazard, exposure, physical socio-economic vulnerability and city scenarios.

Are you interested in partnering with GEM? We look forward to hear from you.

From the blog

l’Aquila sentence – A step backwards in our efforts to mitigate seismic risk


Getting seismic risk on Africa’s agenda

More blog posts are in the making. If you have ideas or want to write one, do let us know!


Send in your abstracts for Session S203 'Advances in global hazard and risk analysis' - convenors Helen Crowley, Florian Haslinger and Marco Pagani. The session is held at the joint IAHS-IAPSO-IASPEI meeting in Gothenburg this summer. The deadline for submitting abstracts is February 4th.


January: ISC-GEM catalogue publicly available, Testing & Evaluation of the Building Taxonomy, GEM Sub-Saharan Africa meeting

February: South Asia Training Workshop, Middle East Hazard Modeling Workshop (EMME), Active Fault Workshop Mexico (tentative)

March: Balkans Training Workshop (with USGS), South America Building Typology and Taxonomy Review Workshop (tentative), Middle East Risk Modelling Workshop (EMME)
Check the GEM Events Calendar to find out more, add upcoming meetings yourself or tell us about them. Follow the latest posts and other progress of all groups also through GEM Nexus and leave your comments!
Contact us
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