IRSN is performing until September 16, 2016, a field-trip at the epicenter of Amatrice earthquake, nearly 100 km northeast of Rome. IRSN researchers are carrying out geological observations at the faults causing a 6.0-magnitude tremor on August, 24, 2016.
The Institute will focus on the surface ruptures
in the event of the Amatrice earthquake, in particular the relationship between the amplitude distribution, based on parameters such as the depth and magnitude of the earthquake or the soil types.
Surface rupture is a priority scientific issue in the IRSN research activities on the robustness of the facilities in the event of extreme hazards and the potential ensuing accident situations. It is also a priority scientific issue for many institutes.
Knowledge on ground surface movement in the event of an earthquake needs to be completed as well as databases. With the support of IAEA and INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Science), IRSN is associated with organizations from Argentina, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, USA interested in the same issues. The aim is firstly to build an international database to understand and evaluate the phenomena of surface ruptures.
The field-trip in Italy is conducted in partnership with the Centre for Research and Education in Environmental Geosciences from Aix-en-Provence (France), the Paris Institute of Earth Physics (IPGP), the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology from Rome (Italy) and the University of Chieti (Italy).
Download IRSN report on Amatrice earthquake (Central Italy) of 24 August 2016) (PDF, 845 Ko) (In French)
 Surface rupture is an offset of the ground surface when movement on a fault deep extends to the Earth's surface. Any structure built across the fault is at risk of being torn apart as the two sides of the fault slip past each other. Not all earthquakes result in surface rupture.