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Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale - ESI 2007


In 1999, during the 15th INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) Congress in Durban (August 3 11, 1999), the Subcommission on Paleoseismicity promoted the compilation of a new scale of macroseismic intensity based only on environmental effects. A Working Group including geologists, seismologists and engineers compiled a first version of the scale, that was presented at the 16th INQUA Congress in Reno (July 23 30, 2003), and updated one year later at the 32nd International Geological Congress in Florence (Michetti et al., 2004). To this end, the INQUA TERPRO (Commission on Terrestrial Processes) approved a specific project (INQUA Scale Project, 2004 - 2007) with the aim of A) testing the scale for a trial period of 4 years, coincident with the intercongress cycle, B) review the first version through its application to case studies worldwide, and C) submit the revised version so as to be ratified during the 17th INQUA Congress in Cairns (July 28 August 3, 2007).

This revised version of the scale, which is formally named Environmental Seismic Intensity scale - ESI 2007, is composed by:

a) the Definition of intensity degrees on the basis of Earthquake Environmental Effects, i.e. the scale itself, which follows the same basic structure of the widely used twelve degrees macroseismic scales (Michetti et al, 2004);

b) the Guidelines, which aim at better clarifying i) the background of the scale and the scientific concepts that support the introduction of such a new macroseismic scale; ii) the procedure to use the scale alone or integrated with damage-based, traditional scales; iii) how the scale is organized; iv) the descriptions of diagnostic features required for intensity assessment, and the meaning of idioms, colors, and fonts.

A gallery of photographs is available, thanks to numerous scientists involved in the INQUA Scale Project

The ESI 2007 Form is an helpful tool for data collection of Earthquake Environmental Effects.

The Table of ESI Intensity Degrees reports the definition of intensity degrees in a table, classified by the category of Earthquake Environmental Effect.
Both these latter documents have been designed for the application of the IES 2007 scale during field surveys immediately after the seismic event.