A relocated earthquake catalog and ground motion database for the southern East African rift system

Joanna M Holmgren*, Max Werner, Katsuichiro Goda, Manuela Vilani, Vitor Silva, Patrick R. N Chindandali, Victoria Stevens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The southern East African rift system (EARS) is geologically rare considering its early-stage continental rift setting combined with a deep seismogenic zone. Several seismically vulnerable communities are located within this tectonically active region, resulting in a significant seismic risk. However, the ground motion and seismic hazard analyzes necessary to increase the earthquake preparedness in the region have been limited due to the relatively short instrumentation history and scarce ground motion data available. Here, we present a newly compiled ground motion database for the southern EARS which is critically lacking and preventing local ground motion studies. This database includes a regional catalog of 882 earthquakes spanning 1994–2022 (magnitudes 3–6.5) with available waveform records within epicentral distances of 300 km. Three different velocity models were used to relocate 256, 255, and 252 events, respectively, to quantify depth sensitivity, relocating events down to depths of 35–40 km. The final database contains 10,725 time-series records from 353 stations along with P- and S-wave phase arrivals for each record. The ground motion database contains peak ground acceleration and velocity and 5% damped pseudo-spectral acceleration for 291 frequencies from 1.0 to 30 Hz for the horizontal components. In addition, a Fourier amplitude spectrum table for 212 frequencies from 0.1 to 30 Hz is included. The database is accessible through the ISC repository (https://doi.org/10.31905/4GGVBFBE).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1911-1929
Number of pages19
JournalEarthquake Spectra
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: this work was funded by the EPSRC IAA grant (EP/R511663/1) and EPSRC SAFER PREPARED grant (EP/T015462/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


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