The French seismological and geodetic network Résif-Epos is a national facility cited in the national roadmap of research infrastructures published by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. Résif-Epos was launched in 2009 in an effort to develop, modernize, and centralize geophysical observation of the Earth’s interior.
This national research infrastructure is integrated into the European Epos infrastructure and actively involved in the continuing implementation and development of Epos. Moreover, components of Résif-Epos participate in centralized international networks and federations.
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A unique range of instruments deployed throughout the country
Résif-Epos uses both permanent and mobile instrument networks for continuous seismological, geodetic and gravimetric measurements. The collected data reveal both the structure and dynamics of our planet. These data also contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources and to natural geohazard mitigation.
In seismology, Résif-Epos develops a permanent densely implanted network of nearly 200 broadband seismic sensors throughout mainland France. It is complemented by a permanent network of accelerometers used to study strong and localized movements of the Earth in the most seismically active areas in France and abroad (West Indies, Reunion, Mayotte).
These networks enable researchers to understand the Earth’s interior better – from the crust to the core – and to develop imaging of this. As basic tools for real-time monitoring of seismic activity, these networks also help to estimate seismic hazards including the likelihood of shaking exceeding a certain threshold at a given location and over a given time period.
Résif-Epos also includes a permanent network of geodetic stations. These stations are used to measure ground displacement rates of a few tenths of millimetres per year and monitor crustal deformation and the processes that create landforms and generate seismicity, particularly in fault zones.
Résif-Epos also uses gravimeters that measure slight variations in the Earth’s gravitational field to study the mass distribution and dynamics inside the Earth.
In addition to these permanent networks, Résif-Epos coordinates the deployment of mobile instruments on various sites to temporarily increase measurement density in France or in areas of high scientific interest in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Such temporary networks are open to the entire academic scientific community and offer a large range of state of the art technologies and some truly exceptional equipment such as the Absolute Quantum Gravimeter.
European Plate Observing System
Résif-Epos is France’s major contribution to the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) and has actively participated 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)
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.
The CNRS National Institute for Earth Sciences and Astronomy coordinates the Résif-Epos consortium which includes the majority of French universities and organizations involved in geoscience research. More than a hundred researchers, engineers and technicians work together on a daily basis thus making Résif-Epos a tremendous scientific tool available to the global Earth Sciences community.