SAFE Swarm for earthquake study

SAFE Swarm for earthquake study

Understanding earthquakes from the Earth and Space

SAFE, SwArm For Earthquake study, is a project coordinated by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), to investigate, by means of data collected from satellites and from ground-based instruments, the phase preceding the great earthquakes with the aim to identify any electromagnetic signal from space.

To achieve the scope, SAFE will study the preparatory phase of large earthquakes through the analysis of electromagnetic data from sensors on board the three satellites of ESA Swarm constellation in order to better understand the physical mechanisms involved. In particular, the project will study the coupling between the outer part of the solid Earth, the lithosphere, where the earthquakes occur, and the overlying fluid portion, the atmosphere. The objective is to capture the information exchanged between the two layers through the integration of the data acquired by the Swarm satellites with those collected by other satellites and by ground-based stations.

To do this, INGV experts on seismology, physics of the upper atmosphere, geomagnetism and satellite data processing will jointly work on the research. Planetek Italia, partner in the project, will support the realization of the e-infrastructures necessary to organize and merge the satellite data with those from the systems at ground to extract the necessary information for the analysis.

The SAFE concept stands in a proper and rigorous combination of data capable to describe a broad geophysical scenario to support the advancement of the current understanding of the physics of the earthquakes and of their preparation processes detectable from space.

Links and articles:

Science Mag: Can electric signals in Earth’s atmosphere predict earthquakes?