Paris, 8 February 2012

Very large-scale research infrastructure for geophysics : RESIF

Officially launched on February 8, the Very Large-Scale Research Infrastructure RESIF (French seismologic and geodetic network) aims to set up a geophysical observation array covering the whole of metropolitan France, dedicated to the study of the Earth's interior and geological hazards. Under the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, and France's Central Seismological Office, RESIF will involve around a hundred researchers and engineers and include 20 research establishments and organizations(1). France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) is acting as coordinator within the RESIF consortium. By developing a national observation facility, RESIF will make use of a network of over 750 seismological and geodetic instruments throughout France to provide more refined data about ground deformation.

RESIF, the French seismologic and geodetic network, was officially launched on Wednesday 8 February at its steering committee's first meeting. Comprising 750 permanent instruments (broadband seismometers, accelerometers, GPS receivers and gravimeters) spread throughout France, with increased coverage in areas with high variability of the subsurface and greater seismicity, the RESIF array seeks to provide a coordinated research response for the understanding of the Earth's deep interior and for the evaluation of natural resources and hazards. The inclusion of 150 new instruments by 2020 (Figure 1) will help this Very Large-Scale Research Infrastructure (TGIR) to correspondingly increase its capacity to provide information on France's subsurface. In addition, mobile geophysical and geodetic instruments will make it possible to collect data for specific purposes in target areas such as France's overseas tropical territories.

With a commitment to developing greater synergy between observations from space and in situ, involving a wide range of disciplines (tectonics, geology, seismology, geotechnics, hydrology, meteorology, geodesy, etc), RESIF will therefore make it possible to:

  • considerably improve both our knowledge of the overall structure and composition of the Earth's interior beneath Europe and France, and our understanding of the evolution of planet Earth over time;
  • better understand hazards related to ground motion, whether of natural (earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, etc) or human origin (dams, mines, underground storage, blasting, etc), which is particularly important given France's high level of urbanization and its many strategic industrial facilities. Part of this data will be shared with specific early warning systems such as CENALT, the French Tsunami Warning Center;
  • obtain more detailed insight into the storage potential for downstream products, and into available natural resources (geothermal energy, deposits, groundwater) whose sustainable management is a major challenge for the 21st century.

resif map


RESIF's current and planned seismological and geodetic instruments in metropolitan France

Accessible data
By providing immediate access to its data and interoperating with other European centers, RESIF becomes an integral part of the European and worldwide geophysical observation network. It will represent a major French contribution to the European research infrastructure European Plate Observing System ( Data from RESIF will therefore be used by researchers worldwide, since metropolitan France is a typical example of a highly urbanized and industrialized country with significant seismic activity, but few major earthquakes.  
RESIF will be set up with funding to the tune of €9.3 million from the Investments for the Future program, which has selected it as a Facility of Excellence.

RESIF website:


1 - Members of RESIF taking part in the steering committee (14)
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) (coordinator), Bureau des recherches géologiques et minières (BRGM), Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies renouvelables (CEA), Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (IFREMER), Institut français des sciences et technologies des transports, de l'aménagement et des réseaux (IFSTTAR), Institut national de l'information géographique et forestière (IGN), Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN), Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA), Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble I, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, Université de Strasbourg.
Other members of RESIF (6)
Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand II, Université de Bretagne Orientale, Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, Université Montpellier 2, Université de Nantes, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis

Contact information:

Helle Pedersen I (+33)4 76 63 52 00

Press officer
Nuno Marcelino I (+33)1 44 96 43 90


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