Seismology is the study of the earthquakes and their consequences.

Seismology can be seen as:

  • Instrumental seismology, which aims at measuring ground motions, detect, localize and study earthquakes in the world. This study cares also about plate motions, interplate stresses, the properties of the plate boundaries and the fault morphology.
  • Historical seismology, which is the research of testimonies in old documents as well as traces in the architectural heritage
  • Paleoseismology is the study of ancient earthquake through their traces in the landscape, geologic sediments or rock.

Research Seismology

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Seismic alert

BEERS (Belgian Earthquake Emergency Report System) is the seismic alert system developed by the royal observatory of Belgium to provide reliable information that is fast enough to avoid rumours on social media and in the press. Read

Historical sismicity

For regions with a lot of historical documentation, we can get significant information about earthquakes occured before instrumental seismology era. Read

Seismic hazard and risk

"A seismic hazard is the probability that an earthquake will occur in a given geographic area, within a given window of time, and with ground motion intensity exceeding a given threshold.[1] With a hazard thus estimated, risk can be assessed and included in such areas as building codes for standard buildings, designing larger buildings and infrastructure projects, land use planning and determining insurance rates." [1] Read


Earthquakes happened long before we were able to measure them in the instrumental era. By gathering and mapping witness’ reports on felt earthquakes, the impact of an earthquake can be reliably mapped and the magnitude and depth of historical earthquakes can be estimated based on the distribution of the felt reports. Read

Research Geodynamics

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Since 2009, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) cooperates with the Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) to develop modern methods in seismic monitoring of volcanoes. Read


  1. ^ Seismic hazard []