The year 2019 of Résif began with a high point, the workshop “Seismotectonics and seismic hazard in metropolitan France” in Montpellier from 14 to 16 January, conducted within the framework of the Transverse Seismicity Action – Aléa Axis of Résif. 34 participants from the main Résif member agencies discussed the data, models and processes involved in defining seismotectonic zoning for seismic hazard calculations. At the end of the workshop, five distinct actions were proposed that will contribute to the scientific life of Résif over the next two years, including an “active faults – neotectonics” action. Since then, this action was launched on 4 April in Paris by a meeting of 34 (again !) participants to define the detailed objectives, functioning and 2-year schedule of this new action. Subsequently, a first meeting of the “Alps” zone will take place on 1 July in Grenoble.

The Transversal Actions of Résif are therefore booming, as is also the Résif Information System, which today disseminates 60 TB of data and responds positively to one request per second.In order to stabilize the IS in the face of strong demand from the seismological community and to support the international quality of its work, an exceptional credit, allocated by the CNRS to research infrastructures at the beginning of the year, was granted to Résif’s IS (120 k€).Indeed, the IS is now the core of the Résif observation networks. However, we are anxiously awaiting the opening of a position to replace the IS technical manager, Catherine Pequegnat, who is retiring in 2020 and to whom both Résif-IS and just Résif owe a great deal.

The Scientific Council of Résif which met on May 3rd in Paris was also impressed by the enormous work provided by the IS but is also worried about the imminent challenges presented in particular by the exponentially increasing quantity of data and by quality control methods adapted to these “big data” and which are based on machine-learning which will have to be taken into account. The SC strongly recommends ensuring the presence of dedicated and highly qualified personnel for the dissemination of Résif data.

The other points discussed at the SC were prospective: the state of the art of the Résif instrumentation project (initially planned for PIA3, which is still not open) and the possibilities of using the Résif data in environmental fields (thus outside the tectonic, structural or seismic hazard assessment aspects that were discussed last year). Our choice to focus our instrumentation project on seabed measurements (with seismological and geodetic components) was seen as promising and was in response to the SC’s request to make a decision on the variety of proposals put forward last year. However, at present this project does not revolve around a clearly identified scientific theme. The main recommendation is to justify the instrumental developments by specific and well-targeted goals (scientific or operational, e.g. warning systems) and regional projects.  There are enough regions with high scientific stakes on French territory, and the West Indies appears to be an appropriate target as the French region with the highest seismic potential and for which French geophysicists have some “responsibility”.

Regarding environmental applications of Resif data, a number of innovative approaches involving seismological, gravimetric or geodetic measurements were presented. The SC recommends to start by stimulating the exchange of information on available observations (probably still unknown in neighbouring scientific fields) and required formats, between the hydrological, geodetic and seismological communities, in the form of a multidisciplinary workshop on “environmental geophysics”.

A good number of Résif members must have noticed the arrival of Véronique Bertrand, who is beginning to bring Résif’s “Valorization and Communication” Transverse Axis to life. Indeed, it started its activities for Résif with a tour of a large number of observatories, laboratories and partner organizations, in order to establish a survey among Résif members on communication means and needs. The results of his interviews with 89 people and his 81 feedback on his internet survey will soon be released.

For Anaïs Schneider, who has been a member of the editorial team of this newsletter for two years, this is the last edition before leaving ISTerre for new horizons. Many thanks to Anaïs for her efficient support to communication in and around Résif, for her enthusiasm and for her patience.

Prospects for the rest of the year 2019 are the organization of the scientific and technical days Résif. These days will take place from November 12 to 14 and will give a multitude of new impulses to the scientific life of Résif, thanks to your contributions and your involvement in Résif. While waiting for the finalization of the program that will be communicated to you before the summer holidays. Save the date !

Andrea Walpersdorf

Newsletter Résif n°16 – June 2019 (pdf in French)