Luangwa Rift Active Fault Database v1.0

  • Luke Wedmore (Creator)
  • Tess Turner (Creator)
  • Juliet J Biggs (Creator)
  • Jack Williams (University of Otago) (Creator)
  • Henry Sichingabula (Creator)
  • Christine Kabumbu (Creator)
  • Kawawa Banda (Creator)



First release of the Luangwa Rift Active Fault Database for the submission of a manuscript to EGU Solid Earth.

Active fault database for the Luangwa Rift, Zambia compiled by Tess Turner, Luke Wedmore and Juliet Biggs at University of Bristol.

The Luangwa Rift Active Fault Database (LRAFD) is a freely available open-source geospatial database of active fault traces within the Luangwa Rift, Zambia.

The active fault database has been designed and released in line with the Global Earthquake Model standards. Full details of the criteria used to assess activity will be released in a publication that is currently in preparation.

Please cite the latest release of this database on Zenodo in addition to the following manuscript:
Turner, T. Wedmore, L.N.J., Biggs, J. Williams, J.N., Sichingabula, H.M., Kabumbu, C., Banda, K. The Luangwa Rift Active Fault Database and fault reactivations along the southwestern branch of the East African Rift. _Submitted to EGU Solid Earth_

Data Format
The LRAFD is a geospatial database containing a collection of active fault traces in GIS vector format. Each fault is mapped as a single continuous GIS feature, and has associated metadata that describe the geometry of the fault and various aspects of its exposure and the methodology used to map the fault.

The list below describes the attributes within the LRAFD. These attributes are based on the Global Earthquake Model Global Active Faults Database (GEM-GAFD; Styron and Pagani, 2020). Note, we do not currently include all attributes from the GEM-GAFD as these data have not been collected in the Luangwa Rift. It is the intention that future versions of this database will include more attributes. No assessment is made of the seismogenic properties of the faults in the LRAFD as this is subjective. These data have been compiled in the publication associated with this database.

Data Table

Luangwa Rift Active Fault Database AttributesAttributeData TypeDescriptionNotesLRAFD_IDintegerUnique Fault IDentification number assigned to each fault trace Fault_NamestringName of FaultAssigned using local geographic features or townsDip_DirectionstringCompass quadrant of fault dip direction slip_typestringkinematic type of faulte.g. normal, reverse, sinistral-strike slip, dextral-strike slipFault_LengthdecimalStraight line distance between the tips of the fault GeomorphicExpressionstringGeomorphic feature/features used to identify the fault trace and its extente.g. escarpment, fault scarp, offset sedimentary featureMethodstringDEM or geologic dataset used to identify and map the fault tracee.g. digital elevation model hillshade, slope mapConfidenceintegerConfidence of recent (Quaternary) activityRanges from 1-4, 1 if high certainty, 4 if low certaintyExposureQualityintegerFault exposure quality1 if high, 2 if lowEpistemicQualityintegerCertainty of whether a fault exists there1 if high, 2 if lowAccuracyintegerCoarsest scale at which fault trace can be mapped, expressed as the denominator of the map scalereflects the prominence of the fault's geomorphic expressionGeologicalMapExpressionstringextent of correlation between fault traces and legacy geological mapwhether faults have been previously mapped and/or follow geological contactsNotesstringAny additional or relevant information regarding the fault ReferencesstringRelevant literature/geological maps where the fault is mentioned/described 


File Formats
Following the GEM-GAFD, this database is provided in a variety of GIS vector file formats. GeoJSON is the version of record, and any changes should be made in this version, before they are converted to other filed formats using the shell script available in this repository. This script uses the GDAL tool ogr2ogr and is adapted from a script posted by Richard Styron (, who we thank for making this publicly available. The other versions available are ESRI Shapefile, KML, GMT and Geopackage.

Note that in the ESRI Shapefile format, the length of the attribute are restricted in length by the format, so we advise against using this format.

Version Control
This version of the database is v1.0 and is associated with the release of the data for submission of the associated manuscript.

It is intended that this database is updated in future versions by both the authors and other users. As such we encourage edits of the [GeoJSON] file and the submission of pull requests on the associated github site. Please contact Luke Wedmore (<[email protected]>) for information or to report errors in the database.

Styron, Richard, and Marco Pagani. “The GEM Global Active Faults Database.” Earthquake Spectra, vol. 36, no. 1_suppl, Oct. 2020, pp. 160–180, doi:10.1177/8755293020944182.

Date made available3 May 2022

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