The Earthquakes of the XIV and XV Centuries in Catalonia

The Earthquakes of the XIV and XV Centuries in Catalonia

By Carme Olivera, Esther Redondo, Jerome Lambert, Antoni Riera, and Antoni Roca

First European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (2006)

Abstract: In 1985 the Geological Survey of Catalonia started a project to compile a comprehensive catalogue of seimic activity in Catalonia in order to provide a correct evaluation of seismic hazard.  The project concludes with the publication, in 2006, of a book that gathers the results of the interdisciplinary work carried out on the most important historical earthquakes in Catalonia, which took place in the XIV and XV centuries.

One of the most prominent features of this monography is that it provides a compilation of all the documentation concerning the earthquakes of the late medieval period. For the first time it has been possible to undertake a joint analysis of all the documentation of the earthquakes of the late medieval period in Catalonia and to evaluate these events using homogeneous criteria.  Our evaluation of the earthquakes is a marked improvement on earlier studies in two respects: name and quality of the descriptions, and homogeneity.

A catalogue of the earthquakes of the XOV and XV centuries has been compiled.  From this catalogue it can be deduced that the earthquake with the greatest intensity, IX, occured on 2 February 1428 and that its magnitude corresponds to the highest value Mw of 6.5. The second largest earthquake occured on 3 March 1373, with a magnitude Mw of 6.2 and teh epicentral intensity of VIII-IX. Focal parameters of the 8 earthquakes are presented. Thses are the 2 events previously mentioned (1373, 1428), 5 events of the 1427 seismic sequence and another earthquake occured in 1448. 

Click here to read/download this article (PDF file)

Sign up to get a Weekly Email from

* indicates required

medievalverse magazine