Fault Activation and Earthquake Rupture (FEAR) research project



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  Professor Amann Copyright: Peter Winandy Professor Florian Amann, Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology at RWTH Aachen University

Professor Florian Amann, holder of the Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology at RWTH Aachen University, has been awarded an ERC Synergy Grant from the European Union. In the future, Amann will work together with scientists from ETH Zurich and the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Rome on the development and prediction of earthquakes as part of the "Fault Activation and Earthquake Rupture" (FEAR) project. The project is supported by the ERC-Synergy Grant with a total of around 13.8 million Euros over the next six years.

The US Geological Survey registered more than 1800 earthquakes of different sizes in 2018. Earthquakes are one of the greatest threats to human society and a challenge in forecasting. Despite decades of intensive research, it is not possible to predict exactly where and when the phenomenon will occur and what magnitude can be expected.

A new experimental laboratory in the Bedretto Tunnel in the Swiss canton of Ticino, 1000 metres below the earth's surface, now offers unique opportunities: Earthquakes will be artificially generated by high-pressure injections in geological fault zones.