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, to investigators and other users, data sources on the earthquake history of Europe, such as papers, reports, Macroseismic Data Points (MDPs), parametric catalogues, and so on.

Following some pioneering attempts in the early 1990s, AHEAD was initiated and built up, for the European earthquakes between 1000 and 1899, in the frame of the EC Project NERIES - Network of Research Infrastructures for European Seismology, NA4 module (2006 and 2010), with INGV Milan as the co-ordinating institution. After the end of NERIES, AHEAD has been maintained and implemented in the frame of the EC project "SHARE", (2010-2012), Task 3.1.

AHEAD consists of independent regional archives, a general repository and a collaborative inventory. At present, it mainly relies on eight regional, online macroseismic archives, which supply most of the data; additional archives could join AHEAD in the near future. Additional data sources are hosted by the general datasource repository. AHEAD does not inventory the historical sources used by the compilers of the studies; in principle, they should be available at the regional archives.

AHEAD has been compiled and updated by the NERIES NA4 and SHARE Task 3.1 co-ordinating institution (INGV) and partners. A subset of the collaborative inventory (still in progress), is devoted to the fake earthquakes. The Archive can be queried:

The query by earthquake can be performed from the inventory web page, where the user can visualise the full earthquake list (which contains 4722 events) or a portion of it, filtered by time-window and/or magnitude class, and the relevant plot. The user can click either on the selected earthquake in the list, or on the epicentre on the map; more than one earthquake can be selected (multiple clicks).

The query gives access to the section labelled “catalogues”, shown as a display frame where, for each earthquake, the parameters of the main reference European catalogue (currently SHEEC 1000-1899; Stucchi et al., 2012) are presented; the MDPs of the supporting study are also visible, when available. In addition, the parameters of the most representative regional catalogues can be displayed.

The section called "studies" gives access to other studies on the same events, allowing the relevant MDPs to be displayed. The section "seismicity" allows displaying the earthquake history 1000-1899 - as from SHEEC 1000-1899 (Stucchi et al., 2012) - of a circular area around the selected epicentre; the radius of the area can be fixed by the user. Alternatively, it is possible to select and display the earthquakes within a polygon traced by the user.

The query by data source introduces the user to the list of the main studies available for the inventoried earthquakes. Each item can be clicked, giving access to the full pdf (when available), or the pdf of the relevant portions, when the item is not subjected to copyright, or to the abstract, when it is; a link to the publisher is also provided. In addition, the user can explore the list of the earthquakes within AHEAD which the study deals with.

Comments can be inserted through the home page and new material not yet considered can be submitted. An option for introducing comments regarding single earthquakes will be available for registered users.

Data citation

AHEAD can be referred to as:

AHEAD Working Group. AHEAD, the European Archive of Historical Earthquake Data. https://doi.org/10.6092/INGV.IT-AHEAD

Each data source considered by AHEAD have its own citation.
Users are requested to report it also.


Locati M., Rovida A., Albini P., and Stucchi M., 2014. The AHEAD Portal: A Gateway to European Historical Earthquake Data. Seismological Resource 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


(provisional) M. Locati.


The data sources considered by AHEAD have their own copyright statement, when available. In case they do exist, users are requested to make reference to it.

The inventory can be used for scientific purposes only, quoting the reference indicated above. Any commercial and profit use is explicitly forbidden.
The inventory cannot be used, even partly, for serving as input in the compilation of other databases or catalogues without the prior permission of the AHEAD Working Group.

It is forbidden to reproduce the AHEAD website, even partly, or to use it for establishing copies of the original website.


Although the AHEAD Working Group makes 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 in the Archive.

Users are cautioned to consider carefully 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 or operational consequences.

Conclusions drawn from this Archive, or actions undertaken on the basis of its contents, are the sole responsibility of the user.


The Archive structure and the database have been designed and implemented by P. Albini, M. Locati, A. Rovida and M. Stucchi (INGV, Milan), with the collaboration of the AHEAD partners:

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

Materials and comments have been made available also by:

F. Bernardini, R. Camassi, V. Castelli and E. Ercolani (INGV, Bologna)
J. Lambert (BRGM, Orléans)
P. Alexandre and T. Camelbeeck (ORB, Brussel)
M.B. Demircioglu and K. Sesetyan (KOERI, Istanbul)
J. Batllo (University of Lisboa)
B. Dost (KMNI, De Bilt)
R. Tatevossian and T. Tatevossian (IPE, Moscow)
Ch. Hammerl and W. Lenhardt (ZAMG, Wien)
I. Cecic and M. Živcic (ARSO, Ljubljana)
M. Radulian (NIEP, Bucuresti)
R. Glavcheva (BAS, Sofia)
F. Carrilho and P. Alves (IPMA, Lisboa)
J. Fonseca, S. Vilanova and M. Costa (IST, Lisboa)
H. Bungum (NORSAR, Kjeller)
G. Grünthal and R. Wahlström (GFZ, Potsdam)
P. Mäntyniemi (University of Helsinki)
B. Glavatovic (MSO, Podgorica)
P. Labak (formerly at SAS, Bratislava)
T. Zsíros (Georisk, Budapest)
M. Herak (University of Zagreb)

The valuable help and the support of D. Giardini (ETH, Zurich) and T. Van Eck (KNMI, De Bilt) is acknowledged. N.N. Ambraseys provided a huge amount of data, and material.

This archive would not be the same without the continuous encouragement, the material and the knowledge generously fed in by the roaming Jean Vogt.

Last update 15 January 2013 - Webmaster