Seismotectonic regions in Germany and adjacent areas - Concept and results
Seismotectonic regions are a basic input in seismic hazard assessment. Several seismotectonic zonations for Germany have been proposed in the past. We have developed a new regionalization based on the definition in the German Nuclear Safety Standard: "A seismotectonic unit is a region for which uniformity is assumed regarding seismic activity, geological structure and development and, in particular, regarding neotectonic conditions". Our new concept aims for transparent implementation of
... mentation of geological criteria, which we initially analyze separately from seismicity. We strive for a better documentation and justification of the geological elements used to delimit seismotectonic regions, based on an analysis of the geological evolution in six time slices from the Permian (300 Ma) to the Present. The time slices are separated by marked changes in the tectonic regime and associated with the development of new fault systems or reactivation of existing ones. The present-day fault network comprises faults from all time slices. For each time slice, a subset of active faults has been extracted based on geological evidence for fault activity at that time. Uncertainties of these age assignments are documented. The fault subsets delimit regions of different strain intensity. The superposition of strain intensity distributions across all time slices identifies regions affected by polyphase deformation and regions nearly undeformed over geological time, potentially indicating areas of increased or reduced present-day seismic hazard. Our new zonation consists of fewer regions than earlier ones. The geological zonation correlates well with recent seismicity in areas of Cenozoic rifting and reasonably well with less frequent earthquakes in a belt affected by Mesozoic extension and contraction. However, a few stronger earthquake cluster in regions of low geological strain. The most prominent earthquake clusters (Swabian Jura, Vogtland / NW Bohemia) also defy a simple correlation with known geological structures.