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Dr. Laura Gulia

Dr. Laura Gulia


Swiss Seismological Service (SED)
ETH Zürich
Laura Gulia
Sonneggstrasse 5
8092 Zürich
Phone: -


I joined the Swiss Seismological Service in 2014 as a researcher in statistical seismology, seismicity analysis as well as seismic hazard and risk assessment. One of my main research interests is the spatio-temporal variation of the earthquake size distribution (the so-called b-value of the Gutenberg and Richter relationship) and its use in hazard and risk assessment. I am for example developing and testing statistical models of earthquakes targeted towards improving the medium term and short-term predictability. In the case of L’Aquila event in 2009 (Gulia et al., 2016, GRL,, I translated these forecasts into probabilistic seismic hazard and seismic risk.

In a recent study, I investigated in a highly systematic way, the spatio-temporal evolution of the earthquake size distribution and rupture potential throughout a seismic sequence, applying a stacking approach to several well-recored worldwide sequences (Gulia et al., 2018, GRL,; My research shows how, immediately after a main shock, the b-value increases by 20%–30% and remains elevated for at least the following 5 years, reducing the chance of the occurrence of a larger earthquake in the immediate vicinity of the fault. I also proposed an empirical relationship to be used to forecast aftershock hazard in a more realistic way. We are now investigating the use of these results for distinguishing between foreshocks and aftershocks in real-time.

Historical seismology is also part of my research interest: I contributed to the assessment of parameters (location, orientation, magnitude) of the seismogenic source by macroseismic intensities (Vannucci et al., 2019, Tectonophysics, and to the updating and Earthquake Catalogue for the Italian territory, CPTI04 (Stucchi et al., 2007,

I investigated the systematic dependence of the b-value on the style-of-faulting in Italy (Gulia and Wiemer, 2010, GRL, and explored new options for the Italian reference seismic hazard model, MPS04 (Gulia and Meletti, 2008,; Meletti et al., 2006,

I also worked on the data quality control as well as on quarry blast identification and removal from seismic catalogs (Gulia, 2010, Nat. Hazards,; Gulia et al., 2012, CORSSA,

I am a member of the Community Online Resource for Statistical Seismicity Analysis (CORSSA).