AHEAD European Archive of Historical EArthquake Data




AHEAD, the European Archive of Historical Earthquake Data 1000-1899, is a distributed archive aiming at preserving, inventorying, and making available multiple sets of data dealing with the earthquake history of Europe.

AHEAD focuses on the background information of each earthquake, consisting of the results of historical earthquake investigation presented in various formats, which can be grouped into:

The information archived for each earthquake derives from all the identified sources of data dealing with it, both descriptive studies and parametric catalogues. Indeed, multiple sources of data can relate to the same earthquake, and, conversely, one source of data may deal with several earthquakes. As a result, earthquakes in AHEAD are represented with the multiplicity of the sources of data related to each of them. In this way, the information supporting each earthquake is easily traced back and the state-of-the art of the research on a specific earthquake is fully represented.

AHEAD mainly relies on eight regional partners' archives, which supply most of the data. Additional data derive from the recent scientific literature constituted by i) papers, reports, and volumes describing the results of historical earthquake investigations, and ii) parametric catalogues, with or without the references to their sources of information. AHEAD privileges published and open access sources of data. In addition, a special effort is aimed at making accessible macroseismic data points (MDPs), that is a list of localities, with name and coordinates, and an assessment of the intensity according to a macroseismic scale.

AHEAD content can be accessed:

The Query by Earthquake can be performed from the full list of earthquakes dealt with in AHEAD or by means of a time-space selection, or from the associated map showing earthquake epicentres; more than one earthquake can be selected (multiple clicks).

This query gives access to a section labelled "Catalogues", showing the parameters of the reference European catalogue (currently EPICA v1.1) and, eventually, the MDPs provided by the supporting descriptive studies. The alternative parameters of the most representative regional catalogues are displayed, also. The section "Studies" gives access to the archived descriptive studies dealing with the selected earthquake and provides the main features of the earthquake according to each study, together with its full reference, and shows the related MDPs when available. The section "Seismicity" displays the 1000-1899 earthquake history as from EPICA v1.1 in a circular area around the epicentre of the selected earthquake. The radius of the area can be chosen by the user, who may alternatively define an area drawing a polygon directly on the map or by entering the coordinates of each vertex.

The Query by Data Source introduces to the list of the descriptive studies and catalogues archived in AHEAD and their full bibliographical reference. The selection of each item gives access to the web link to the data source or the full pdf (or part of it), when the item is not subjected to copyright, or alternatively to its abstract. The earthquakes dealt with by the study and considered in AHEAD are shown in both a list and a map.

In addition, data archived in AHEAD can be retrieved using the following web services:

AHEAD citation

AHEAD can be referred to as:

Albini P., Locati M., Rovida A., Stucchi M. (2013). European Archive of Historical EArthquake Data (AHEAD). Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV). https://doi.org/10.6092/ingv.it-ahead

Data sources archived in AHEAD must be referred to according to their own bibliographical citations.

Database license

The AHEAD database is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

logo Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

The sources of data considered in AHEAD have their own copyright statements and licenses, and users are requested to give appropriate credit to them mentioning their bibliographical citation.


Locati M., Rovida A., Albini P., and Stucchi M., 2014. The AHEAD Portal: A Gateway to European Historical Earthquake Data. Seismological Research Letters, 85, 3, pp.727-734. https://doi.org/10.1785/0220130113

Rovida A., Locati M. (2015). Archive of Historical Earthquake Data for the European-Mediterranean Area. In Perspectives on European Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (pp. 359–369). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16964-4_14

Rovida A., Albini P., Locati M., Antonucci A. (2020). Insights into Preinstrumental Earthquake Data and Catalogs in Europe. Seismological Research Letters, 91(5), 2546–2553. https://doi.org/10.1785/0220200058


M. Locati,    A Rovida.


Although AHEAD authors and contributors make every possible effort to supply the best available information, no warranty, expressed or implied, is provided as to the accuracy and reliability of the data supplied.
Users are cautioned to carefully consider the nature of the AHEAD content before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety, or in relation with business involving substantial financial, operational or social consequences.
Conclusions drawn from AHEAD, or actions undertaken based on its contents, are the sole responsibility of the user.


AHEAD is coordinated, managed, maintained and financially supported by Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV, Italy) under the supervision of Paola ALBINI, Mario LOCATI, Andrea ROVIDA, and Andrea ANTONUCCI.

AHEAD is governed by the board of AHEAD Members, composed by the representatives of the contributing regional databases:

The original AHEAD structure and database have been designed by Paola Albini, Mario Locati, Andrea Rovida and Massimiliano Stucchi ( INGV), in cooperation with:

The original website has been developed by M. Locati and M. Stucchi.

Since the establishment of AHEAD, data, materials, suggestions, comments, and support have been provided by several colleagues and institutions that we would like to acknowledge:

I. Cecic, M. Živcic (ARSO, Slovenia)
R. Glavcheva (BAS, Bulgaria)
J. Lambert (BRGM, France)
D. Giardini (ETH, Switzerland)
T. Zsíros (Georisk, Hungary)
G. Grünthal, R. Wahlström (GFZ, Germany)
F. Bernardini, R. Camassi, V. Castelli, E. Ercolani, M. Cocco (INGV, Italy)
R. Tatevossian, T. Tatevossian ( IPE, Russia)
P. Alves ( IPMA, Portugal)
J. Fonseca, S. Vilanova, M. Costa ( IST, Portugal)
B. Dost ( KMNI, The Netherlands)
M.B. Demircioglu, K. Sesetyan ( KOERI, Turkey)
B. Glavatovic ( MSO, Montenegro)
M. Radulian ( NIEP, Romania)
H. Bungum ( NORSAR, Norway)
P. Alexandre, T. Camelbeeck ( ORB, Belgium)
P. Labak (formerly at SAS, Slovakia)
M. Herak, D. Herak (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
Ch. Hammerl, W. Lenhardt (ZAMG, Austria)
And the late Torild van Eck, Nick. Ambraseys, and Jean Vogt.