Sismicité historique de la France 
Métropole 

Source : BRGM, EDF, IRSN / SisFrance   

 
 
    The French metropolitan territory is faraway from the high deformation zones which on a global scale are represented by the plate boundaries. Considered as low on the European scale, the seismicity here is typical of low deformation rate intra-continental regions, meaning a long return period for major seismic events: an average of one highly destructive earthquake and four earthquakes responsible for severe damage per century over a thousand years of history.
    The demographic increase and economic development which never stops growing are increasing the degree of exposure of the populations and goods to natural aggression, in particular seismic aggression which, contrary to other natural phenomena, cannot be predicted over the short term.
    These observations have led the French authorities to pay particular attention to seismic risk analysis on the launch of the French electro-nuclear programme.



Suitable knowledge of our seismic past combined with the other earth science disciplines: geology, geophysics and geo-technology means that we can better understand the scale and the effects of earthquakes liable to be (re)produced in France. To do this, as early as 1975 the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM - the Geological and Mining Research Bureau), Electricité de France (EDF) and the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN - the Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Institute) (formerly the Institut de Protection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IPSN - the Nuclear Protection and Safety Institute)) set up a huge historic seismicity characterisation programme for our country through the research and analysis of accounts of earthquakes contained in our literary heritage. These accounts constitute the macro-seismicity database, i.e. seismicity for which the effects can be described.
SisFrance, the national historic and contemporary seismicity macro-seismic database is the fruit of work started more than thirty years ago and even today benefits from continual updating. Its objective is to ensure the best state of knowledge of macro-seismicity for France. Through the impetus given by the Ministry for the Ecology and Sustainable Development, SisFrance has been available on the Internet since 2002.
    SisFrance corresponds to the state of knowledge at time T which can be modified by updates. The data provided has no contractual value and is based on advice from consultants from the EDF, IRSN and BRGM.
Source : BRGM, EDF, IRSN / SisFrance