Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
10 May 2007
10 May 2007

A new earthquake catalogue for Bulgaria and the conterminous Balkan high hazard region

T. J. Bayliss and P. W. Burton

Abstract. A new homogenous earthquake catalogue covering Bulgaria and the surrounding Balkan area has been created with intention of performing a consistent seismic hazard assessment across the region. In keeping with modern requirements of cataloguing seismicity, this catalogue has been made homogenous as far as possible with regards to magnitude, which has been provided on any of four different reported scales for each event; mb, Ms, Mw and ML. A key historical catalogue for the region has been used to represent the early instrumental period of earthquake recording (1900 to 1963), whilst data have been obtained from the International Seismological Centre (ISC), National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) and National Observatory of Athens (NOA) to cover the instrumental period of earthquake recording (1964 to 2004). ISC data have also been used to develop a new mb→Ms magnitude conversion equation for the catalogued region. Application of this new magnitude conversion relation, in combination with other selected magnitude scale correlations, ensures reported magnitudes can be systematically rendered onto homogenized Ms and Mw scales for all earthquakes. This catalogue contains 3681 events with homogenized magnitudes ≥4.0 Mw, for the time interval 1900 to 2004 (inclusive), located in the region bounded by 39°–45° N, 19°–29° E, at focal depths of 0.0 km to 401.0 km and in a magnitude range 4.0≤Mw≤7.2. Selected large magnitude (M≥6.0 Ms) earthquakes have had their reported magnitudes reassessed – and adjusted if necessary – in light of work by other authors. Applied statistical approaches aimed at determining the lower threshold to magnitude completeness suggest this catalogue is complete down to a homogenized surface-wave magnitude of 4.6 Ms.