The French seismological and geodetic network Résif-Epos is a research infrastructure listed on the roadmap of research infrastructures published by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. It deploys in metropolitan France modern instrumentation to understand the dynamics of the internal Earth, its natural and anthropogenic hazards, and its interactions with the atmosphere and the ocean. The data collected are made available free of charge, following an open science policy.
The 4.9 Mw earthquake in Le Teil on November 11, 2019 confirmed, through its socio-economic impact, the importance of prevention and vulnerability management in the face of seismic risk in France. Résif-Epos provides data from instruments (seismometers, GNSS stations and gravimeters) that measure the deformation of the earth’s surface from secular tectonic movements to instantaneous seismic vibrations. It thus plays a key role in better understanding the telluric hazards on our territory. More broadly, its array of instruments covering the whole of France opens a new window onto the Earth’s interior, to better understand its functioning and dynamics.
By bringing together expertise in innovative seismic imaging, geodesy and gravimetry methods, Résif-Epos also provides key data for a better understanding of the subsoil, to enable optimized and moderate management.
Résif-Epos also contributes to prevention and operations: hazard and earthquake risk assessment, rapid damage assessment and crisis management, construction standards, link between damage to buildings and seismicity, seismicity induced by human activity, etc.
The National Institute of Sciences of the Universe of the CNRS coordinates the Résif-Epos consortium, composed of the majority of French universities and organizations involved in geosciences research. Nearly two hundred researchers, engineers and technicians collaborate on a daily basis to make Résif-Epos a formidable scientific tool at the service of the global Earth sciences community.
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Instrument networks which respond to scientific challenges
The scientific challenges posed by the exploitation of resources and the development of sustainable and competitive human activities require high-performance instruments to measure and observe the Earth, its movements, its wealth of resources and its natural hazards.
Résif thus combines a very high density of measurement and a very high temporal resolution. This paves the way for new perspectives on the observation and knowledge of how the Earth functions, notably through studies of:
- ground deformation over periods of time ranging from microseconds to ten years;
- seismicity at both global and local scales;
- the Earth’s surface and deep structures.
All of these studies will enable scientists to more accurately estimate natural, and particularly seismic hazards on French territory.
A high-performance information system
This efficient information system manages the ten terabytes of data collected annually. Raw data are analyzed, validated and then centralized for real time archiving and free distribution in accordance with open science policy. Every year, tens of millions of data requests are submitted to Résif by scientists from all over the world.
An ecosystem of research infrastructures around the Earth and Environment System
The consortium agreement signed in October 2011 between 18 major players in geophysical research in France has made Résif-Epos a national facility, included in the roadmap of research infrastructures published by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. This roadmap determines for several years the strategy of nearly one hundred international organizations, research infrastructures (RI) and projects, grouped by major fields.
Among them, the RIs of the Earth and Environment System contribute to the progress of knowledge on the processes at work within the major compartments of the planet, and between them. They are designed on a European or international scale. AllEnvi, the national research alliance for the environment, federates, programs and coordinates French environmental research to meet the major societal challenges of food, water, climate and territories.
The Earth System and Environment domain is divided into sub-domains: Logistical Infrastructures (such as the FOF fleet of ships), Internal Earth (to which Résif-Epos belongs), Atmosphere, Ocean and Coast, Continental Surfaces, and finally Biodiversity and Ecosystems, not to mention the virtual Earth observation infrastructures. These infrastructures each work in their own field, but the borders are porous and Résif interacts with others, for example in the framework of common multi-instrument sites.
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European Plate Observing System
Among the interactions of Résif-Epos with other RIs, the most structuring concerns the European Plate Observing System (Epos). Résif-Epos is indeed France’s major contribution to the European Plate Observing System (Epos) and actively participate in its creation and ongoing evolution.
Epos, the European Plate Observing System, is a research infrastructure which manages data integration in Earth Sciences, based on pre-existing services in Europe. The aim of Epos is to enable the development of innovative multidisciplinary research to attain a better understanding of the physical and chemical processes of the solid Earth.
Epos-France has deliberately committed to working in a context of open access to research data. A large part of its web site provides access to the data and services offered by Epos, and by French actors in the field. The web site and data are mainly intended for research professionals but are also open to the general public. Currently, the site only exists in French but an English version will be launched later this year.
Résif leads French contributions to Thematic Core Services (TCS) Seismology and GNSS Data and Products and also disseminates data from the domains of TCS Volcano Observations and TCS Near-Fault Observatories.
Helle Pedersen (helle.pedersen [at] univ-grenoble-alpes.fr)
Epos-France web site : www.epos-france.fr
Epos web site : www.epos-eu.org