55268 - Earthquake Forecasting and Seismic Risk

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

After completing the course , the student is able to describe the basic physical processes of earthquakes . The student also learns the basics of statistics and seismological observation . In particular , at the end of the course the student is able to : - Calculate the state of strain and stress ; - Understand and describe quantitatively the Fracture Mechanics ; - Critically read the literature on earthquake prediction ; - Develop quantitative hazard and risk scenarios 

Course contents

The forces at play in the earth's crust : Continuum Mechanics and linear elasticity . Fracture Mechanics . The stress on faults and the " seismic cycle " : the Characteristic Earthquake and paradoxes of the classical approach . Earthquakes as a thermodynamic process . Basics of statistics and data analysis . Hypothesis testing . Data Mining and statistical significance of the discoveries: false and true precursors. The deterministic and statistical prediction of earthquakes . The estimation of seismic risk .


- Earthquake Science and Seismic Risk Reduction

Mulargia, F., Geller, R.J. (Eds.), Springer, 2003


- Why is Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) still used?Mulargia, F., Stark, P.B., Geller, R.K., Phys. Earth Plan. Inter. 2017



- Le pubblicazioni scientifiche più significative inerenti


Teaching methods


Critical guided reading of relevant publications, and discussion.

 Research by the students guided by the teacher, and related presentations

Assessment methods


Final examination.

Teaching tools


Office hours

See the website of Francesco Mulargia