The Seismotectonic Map of the World is the result of a compilation of worldwide major seismic data spanning five millennia. Given the characteristics and frequency of earthquakes and their effects in society, it is of crucial importance to heighten awareness of these events and their secondary effects with a view to improving programmes of earthquake mitigation and safety measures.
Earthquakes are represented by groups of symbols classified according to their magnitude (≥ 6.0 on the Richter scale) or intensity (≥ VIII). These data have been plotted onto a continental and oceanic geostructural and neotectonic base map, together with data concerning plate kinematics, significant maximum horizontal stress orientations and the main recent and present-day active volcanoes.
The characteristics and frequency of the data presented on the map provide a global overview of seismicity, which reflects the geodynamics of plate-tectonics, deformation types, relative motion vectors and velocities at both divergent margins and their correlative convergent margins within collision belts and subduction zones.
This educational project was conceived as a contribution to the United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (UN-IDNDR), later superceded by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).