Seismic microzonation (Subsurface Imaging): A method of seismic zoning used to determine potential seismic impacts, including engineering terms, on specific existing and planned structures, territories of settlements, and individual regions. Scale of DSR maps: 1:500,000 - 1:200,000.

Seismic microzonation (Subsurface Imaging) (CMP, seismic microzoning, microseismorayoning, microseismicity): A method of seismic zoning that evaluates the influence of local (seismotectonic, geological, hydrogeological, geomorphological) features of the geological structure of areas. Scale of CMP maps for area objects: 1:25,000 and larger.

Seismic microzonation (Subsurface Imaging)  — is the determination of seismicity of an exploration area based on materials refining the initial seismicity and detailed seismic zoning, taking into account local soil conditions from radar satellite imagery. 
The study of seismic hazard based on remote sensing materials relies on identifying residual phenomena and deformations of the Earth's crust. Remote sensing materials allow the detection of zones of deep, regional, and local faults with associated seismic dislocations, which are the places of most probable occurrence of strong earthquakes.

Seismic micro-zoning (seismic micro-zoning, microseismic zoning, microseismics) is part of engineering and geological surveys when designing infrastructure facilities and monitoring the condition of existing facilities.
The complex of seismic micro-zoning works is carried out to assess the seismic hazard, which takes into account the influence of local ground conditions on the intensity of seismic vibrations on the Earth's surface and determines corrections that reduce or increase the seismicity of the area, set by maps of general or detailed seismic zoning. This type of work is especially important when it comes to particularly dangerous, technically complex or unique objects.

Recently, the importance of remote sensing technologies such as differential radar interferometry has been steadily growing, the use of which in combination with GLONASS/GPS observations allows not only to assess the intensity and direction of terrain shifts on a qualitative, but also on a quantitative level. Many spacecraft (spacecraft) have been launched for radar survey and technical and software tools have been developed that GEO INNOTER uses to perform seismic microdistricting.
The performance of seismic micro-zoning works based on remote sensing radar data is used along with classical geophysical and geochemical methods for engineering surveys for objects in earthquake-prone regions. Remote sensing radar data allows you to identify zones of regional and local faults immediately on significant territories, including those that are difficult to access.

Objectives of Seismic microzonation (Subsurface Imaging)

Tasks accomplished through seismic microzonation include:
  • Exploration of new construction sites;
  • Obtaining sufficient and reliable data for selecting the optimal placement of structures;
  • Providing project organizations with all necessary information to consider expected seismic ground motion parameters, including displacements along active faults, to ensure the safe operation of enterprises, buildings, structures, pipelines, exploitation of deposits, and the reconstruction, major repair, and restoration of objects, including buildings and structures, in seismically active areas.

For the oil and gas industry, analyzing the relationship between hydrocarbon extraction and subsidence of the earth's surface is also relevant.

Tasks in Processing Radar Data from Satellite Imagery for Seismic microzonation (Subsurface Imaging):

  • Selecting archival radar images of initial processing level or ordering new imagery;
  • Interferometric data processing, including interpretation and analysis of satellite radar imagery materials to refine the location of tectonic faults zones and detect active tectonic faults in the study area, as well as identify displacements and deformations of the earth's surface and structures that occurred during the observation period;
  • Geological interpretation of processing results - identifying potential active fault disruptions and assessing kinematic types and magnitudes of dislocations;
  • Constructing maps of ground surface displacements based on satellite radar surveys;
  • Identifying negative engineering-geological processes and phenomena in the area, compiling a map of negative engineering-geological processes and phenomena.

Advantages of Using Remote Sensing Data for Seismic microzonation (Subsurface Imaging)

One significant advantage of using satellite materials for seismic microzonation is the all-weather capability of radar satellite imaging, combined with the large area covered by a single scene. Additionally, there is an extensive multi-year archive of relevant materials, some of which are available in open access. This allows for the immediate use of accumulated data from several preceding years.

Prices for services

Activities Free / Cost per Unit
Preliminary Analysis Free
Purchase of Remote Sensing Data The cost of remote sensing data is calculated individually for each order and may vary: the use of free satellite images and/or the use of commercial satellite images (minimum cost of $1000 per scene (minimum 5 scenes)).
Desktop Processing of Radar Remote Sensing Data The cost of work starts from 500,000 rubles and depends on the volume and type of thematic data processing.

*The cost of seismic microzonation work depends on the quality and type of final products, the volume of work, and is calculated individually for each customer.

The cost of execution is calculated on an individual basis, taking into account a specific of task.

After receiving the task description, we calculate the cost and send you a commercial offer.

Period of execution

Completion time - at least 30 (thirty) working days and is calculated individually for each customer.

Seismic microzonation completion time depends on:

  • the area of the territory of interest;
  • the availability of archived remote sensing data and the need for new data acquisition;
  • requirements for remote sensing data, scale, and final product;
  • requirements specified in the Technical Task.

How to place an order:

STEP №1: Submit an application on the website indicating:

  • the location of the object of interest (coordinates, name of the district, region, shapefile, etc.);
  • deadline for the delivery of the final materials;
  • requirements for the final result / the specific production or management task to be solved;
  • requirements for the period of data acquisition;
  • requirements for the quality of data acquisition (resolution on the ground, range of data acquisition);

STEP №2: Agreement on technical specifications and cost:

  • Used remote sensing data;
  • Data representation formats;
  • Technical requirements for remote sensing data;
  • Additional requirements for output data (if necessary);
  • Final cost of the work and deadlines for completion.

STEP №3: Signing the contract and starting the work:

  • Duration of at least 30 days from the date of receiving an advance payment in an amount not less than the cost of the initial data + 50% of the cost of the work - payment only by bank transfer. Final payment after the delivery of the materials and signing the certificates of completed work.

Submit the application via e-mail:, or contact by phone: +7 495 245-04-24, or use the online chat on the website.

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Stages of service provision

Stage №0 (Before signing the contract)

  • Determination of the area for seismic microzonation
  • Check for the availability of archived radar and optical remote sensing data, assessment of the need for new data acquisition
  • Determination of the timeline for the project

RESULT: Possibility (YES/NO) of providing the service

Stage №1 (Before signing the contract)

  • Agreement with the client on the parameters of remote sensing data
  • Agreement with the client on additional requirements for remote sensing data
  • Agreement with the client on the data format for delivery
  • Agreement with the client on the data processing methodology
  • Final determination of the required resources and costs for remote sensing data, agreement on the project timeline and cost

RESULT: Signed contract

Stage №2 (Contract execution)

1. Planning and ordering data acquisition. Depending on the size of the area and other information about the object, the selection and ordering of data acquisition type and other necessary data suitable for generating ground displacement maps are done based on the following criteria:

  • Availability of initial level SLC (Single Look Complex) data with parallel polarization (VV or HH), i.e., the transmitted and received signals have the same polarization;
  • Maximum coverage of the area;
  • Optimal timing of data acquisition (snow-free period, nighttime acquisition);
  • Availability of interferometric series with at least 12 scenes during the entire snow-free period for the selected area.

2. Analysis and processing of radar remote sensing data

  • Interpretation and analysis of radar remote sensing data;
  • Performing morphometric and lineament analysis based on radar remote sensing data to identify areas with increased tectonic dislocation, as well as to identify and refine the dislocation of structural tectonic faults on the study area, including hidden faults beneath younger geological formations;
  • Ranking the identified fault dislocations, including reliable and hypothetical ones; reliable and hypothetical faults hidden beneath younger geological formations; linear tectonic boundaries of structural-facial subzones;
  • Identification of the probable kinematics of fault dislocations. Assessment of their current tectonic activity.

RESULT: The outcome of the work is provided in the form of a detailed technical report

The result of the provision of services

LTD "GEO INNOTER" provides the Client with a technical report containing the results of interferometric processing of data, interpretation, and analysis of radar remote sensing materials with refined locations of tectonic fault zones and identified potential seismic dislocations on the study area. The report also includes identified ground displacement and deformations of the Earth's surface and structures that occurred during the observation period. Additionally, analysis of other necessary parameters required by the Client is conducted, and recommendations are provided regarding further detailed study with the involvement of necessary corresponding technologies. If necessary, conclusions are drawn regarding the establishment of the relationship between the detected changes and specific economic activities.

Requirements for Source Data

Precise coordinates of the area of interest, precise requirements for remote sensing data, and detailed requirements for thematic processing (types of processing required) of the output data formats.

If it is not possible to provide the specified information, information about the intended use of the service results is required, and specialists from "GEO INNOTER" will analyze the needs and propose an optimal solution to the problem.

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Zazulyak Evgeny Leonidovich
The material was checked by an expert
Zazulyak Evgeny Leonidovich
Engineer, 28 years of experience, Education - Moscow Topographic Polytechnic Technical School, St. Petersburg Higher Military Topographic Command School named after Army General A.I. Antonov, Military Engineering University named after V.V. Kuibyshev. Kuibyshev Military Engineering University.



  • the area of interest (location / coordinates of the object in any convenient form, and the area of the object);
  • a specific task that needs to be solved using Earth remote sensing materials.
Yes, it is possible, and depends on the final requirements for the results. To meet the requirements of a scale of 1:50,000 and larger, as well as to improve the quality of the final product, we recommend using commercial data;
Seismic microdistricting provides for the following types of work: collection, analysis and generalization of materials of previous earthquakes; engineering-geological and macroseismic studies; instrumental engineering-seismological and other geophysical studies. Engineering and geological studies are carried out for the territories of objects of all classes and are the basis for planning instrumental studies. Instrumental seismological studies are carried out on the territory of seismic microdistricting of objects of all classes for quantitative prediction of seismic impact characteristics in various engineering and geological conditions. A set of methods is used to solve this problem. The main ones are the registration and study of earthquakes and explosions; auxiliary ones are the study of seismic stiffness, calculation and analysis of the microseismic field. For territories of classes A, B, C, D and D (if the number of inhabitants is more than 30 thousand people) seismic microdistricting is performed by a complex of the listed methods. class A - the largest cities with a population of over 500 thousand people; class B - large cities with a population of 250 thousand people; class C - large cities with a population of 100-250 thousand people; class G - medium-sized cities with a population of 50-100 thousand people; class D - small towns, towns and rural settlements with a population of up to 50 thousand people . On the territory of the city for which seismic microdistricting is carried out, it is desirable to make special seismometric observations using temporary stations, thanks to which the ratios of oscillation amplitudes on different soils during earthquakes are determined. Recordings of explosion oscillations performed, for example, in quarries at a distance of about 10 km, i.e. at a distance commensurate with the hypocentral distance during an earthquake, can provide significant assistance. If there were no such measurements, then for microdistricting it is desirable to have the values of seismic stiffness of soils determined using the measured propagation velocities of elastic waves.
Seismic microdistricting is a method of studying and classifying an urban area from the point of view of its seismic stability and determining the optimal use of land plots taking into account the risk of earthquakes. With the help of this method, geological, geotechnical, hydrogeological, engineering-geological and other data are studied, which make it possible to determine seismic conditions on the territory of the microdistrict. Based on these data, recommendations are developed for choosing the optimal location for the construction of buildings and structures, as well as measures are taken to strengthen and reduce the risk of destruction of buildings and structures in the event of earthquakes. The change in the intensity of vibrations depends on the elastic properties of the soil, its density, humidity, consistency (for clay rocks). Therefore, in the SNiP, soils are divided into 3 categories depending on their properties. At the same time, it is taken into account that for coarse-grained and sandy, gravelly large and medium-sized soils, the effect of humidity on elastic properties is insignificant. But at the same time, the content of sandy-clay filling is essential. For clay soils, the main indicators are density and consistency, for fine and dusty sands - density and humidity. Especially unfavorable soils of the base are water-saturated sands, especially loose ones. Such sands liquefy under seismic influences, which contributes to the sinkhole precipitation (deformation) of buildings. In this regard, loose sands are impractical to use under the foundations of foundations. Loose sands are compacted with vibrators. Weak pulverized clay soils are also unsuitable as foundations for foundations in a fluid and fluid-plastic state. Such soils require improvement, they must be fixed or replaced.
Determination of the seismicity of the construction site should be made on the basis of seismic microdistricting. When determining the estimated seismicity of the site, the following requirements must be met:

  • The site should be determined on the basis of seismic micro-zoning (SMR), which can be performed by specialized engineering and survey institutions.
  • In areas for which there is no SMR, it is allowed to determine seismicity based on the seismicity of the area and the results of engineering and geological surveys (IGI).
  • If the seismicity of the site is determined by the results of the SMR, then no additional adjustment is required based on the results of the IGI.
  • If the site is located on the border of existing SMR maps or on the border of different seismicity, then a special organization that compiles the SMR map should clarify the seismicity of the site.
  • Clarification of the seismicity of the construction area should be carried out based on the materials of detailed seismic zoning (DSR) performed by the seismic services of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).
The SMR methodology consists in studying the features of these local conditions, which differ from the average ground conditions, in order to clarify the parameters of seismic impacts within the mapped territory, using a complex of engineering-geological and geophysical studies, calculation methods, as well as (if possible) seismological registration of weak earthquakes and microseismus. As an engineering-geological basis, a special map of engineering-geological zoning is used, which allows, according to the totality of engineering-geological data, to divide the territory of seismic micro-zoning into seismically homogeneous taxometric units that meet the requirements of RSN 60-86.
image - seismic intensity increment (in points);

image  - average amplitude of oscillations in the study area;

image  - average amplitude of oscillations in the reference area.

For earthquake registration, standard engineering-seismometric equipment with oscillographic or magnetic recording, designed to work in continuous or waiting mode, should be used. The main requirement for the equipment is the identity of the registration channels and their sufficient sensitivity.

Depending on the characteristics of the used equipment, ground displacement, velocity, or acceleration amplitudes are registered.

When using galvanometric registration of displacements, the magnification of the seismograph should be selected within the range of 1000-10000; for the registration of velocity oscillations - 100-200. It is also recommended to use rough channels with a magnification of 10-100 (for displacements) and 1-10 (for velocities) in parallel.

The amplitude-frequency characteristics of the channels should provide undistorted recording in the period range from 0.1 to 2 s.

For establishing quantitative characteristics of vibrations from earthquakes of large and small energies, it is recommended to conduct registration of strong earthquakes in waiting mode in parallel with continuous registration of weak earthquakes.

The number of earthquake records suitable for processing, registered in the compared areas, should be sufficient for a well-founded assessment of seismic intensity increments using statistical analysis. The earthquakes, for which the distance between registration points is less than 0.1 hypocentral distance, should be processed.

Engineering-geological research for the purpose of seismic microzonation includes the following stages:

  • Collection and systematization of materials from past surveys;

  • Engineering-geological survey;

  • Compilation of the engineering-geological basis for the seismic microzonation map.

  • Materials from past surveys should be used in developing the work program, the engineering-geological mapping scheme, and the map of factual data.

  • The placement of underground workings within the territory of the engineering-geological survey should generally be oriented along the normals to the boundaries of the main geomorphological elements, taking into account the conditions of soil and groundwater location. The maximum density of workings should be in areas with complex geological structure.

During the engineering-geological survey, soils should be classified based on the composition and condition according to the classification of GOST 25100-82 and the nomenclature of soils according to SNiP 2.02.01-83. The division of soils by age should be carried out in accordance with a unified stratigraphic scheme or local stratigraphic schemes. The genesis of soils should be determined based on a combination of geological features using existing genetic classifications.

  • Variability of soil properties as a result of testing should be determined by the following indicators:

  • For rocky soils - based on petrographic composition and degree of weathering;

  • For coarse-grained soils - based on granulometric and petrographic composition, the amount of sandy-clayey filler, moisture content, and density;

  • For sandy soils - based on granulometric composition, compaction density, and moisture content;

  • For clayey soils - based on granulometric composition (plasticity index), consistency index, porosity coefficient, and density.

During the engineering-geological survey, it is necessary to identify dynamically unstable types of soils (subsidence soils, silts, waterlogged sands, etc.), which are most susceptible to seismic subsidence, thixotropic liquefaction, etc.

Artificial and washed soils, whose seismic properties are often unfavorable and require special study, should also be distinguished.

The variability of properties of subsidence, swelling, saline, peat, embankment, and stabilized or compacted soils using various methods can be additionally characterized by special indicators and classified in accordance with SNiP 2.02.01-83. The assessment of seismic properties of these soils should generally be based on instrumental observation data.

The variability of properties of subsidence (loess) soils can also be characterized by the total amount of subsidence of thickness under natural pressure.

When assessing the properties of permafrost soils, their temperature and iciness should be taken into account.

Categories of complexity of engineering-geological conditions for seismic microzonation

Factor Group

Complexity Categories and Their Characteristics

I (Simple)

II (Moderate)

III (Complex)






Relief with weakly dissected terrain and few mesoforms, predominantly of the same genesis

Moderately dissected relief with numerous mesoforms of different genesis

Strongly dissected relief with a wide variety of mesoforms of different genesis


Horizontal or gently dipping layers; presence of isolated faults and disturbances without signs of renewal in the Quaternary period

Pronounced folding; presence of a few faults and disturbances of different orders, for which no signs of renewal in the Quaternary period have been established

Complex folding; presence of numerous faults and disturbances of different orders; signs of renewal in the Quaternary period for at least one fault or disturbance


Rock formations outcrop at the surface or are covered by a thin cover (less than 10 m) of homogeneous composition and physical-mechanical characteristics

Rock formations lie at a depth of more than 10 m; composition and physical-mechanical characteristics change regularly in plan and depth

Rock formations have a highly dissected roof; the thickness of the covering layer is more than 20 m; the soils in the covering layer vary significantly in composition and physical-mechanical characteristics


Groundwater lies at a depth of more than 10 m

Groundwater lies at a depth of 5 to 10 m

Groundwater lies at a depth of up to 5 m; the territory is susceptible to anthropogenic flooding

Exogenous geological processes unfavorable in seismic terms


Limited distribution

Wide distribution. In the development of the territory, there may be significant activation of landslides and subsidence processes, degradation of permafrost, etc.

The method of seismic rigidities should be applied in conjunction with other instrumental methods for the quantitative assessment of relative changes (increments) in seismic intensity in areas with different engineering-geological conditions.

The evaluation of seismic intensity increments using the method of seismic rigidities should be carried out by comparing the values of seismic rigidities of the studied and reference soils, taking into account the influence of the saturation of the section and possible resonance phenomena, according to the formula:


where image - the total increment of seismic intensity (in points) relative to the initial (background) seismic intensity assumed for the research area in accordance with RSN 60-86;

image - the increment of seismic intensity due to the difference in seismic rigidity of soils between the studied and reference sites;

image - the increment of seismic intensity due to the deterioration of seismic properties of soils at the studied site due to saturation (waterlogging);

image - the increment of seismic intensity due to the possible occurrence of resonance phenomena caused by a sharp difference in seismic rigidities in the covering and underlying layers of rocks in the studied section.

Currently, works on seismic microdistricting (SMR) are included as mandatory in engineering surveys for construction in earthquake-prone regions.

Seismic microdistricting is carried out in areas with a seismicity of 7-9 points, as well as in territories intended for the construction of particularly critical structures in areas with a seismicity of 6 points according to the seismic zoning map of Russia.
Determination of the seismicity of the construction site should be made on the basis of seismic microdistricting. When determining the estimated seismicity of the site, the following requirements must be met:

  • The site should be determined on the basis of seismic micro-zoning (SMR), which can be performed by specialized engineering and survey institutions.
  • In areas for which there is no SMR, it is allowed to determine seismicity based on the seismicity of the area and the results of engineering and geological surveys (IGI).
  • If the seismicity of the site is determined by the results of the SMR, then its additional adjustment based on the results of the IGI is not required.
  • If the site is located on the border of existing SMR maps or on the border of different seismicity, then a special organization that compiles the SMR map should clarify the seismicity of the site.
  • Clarification of the seismicity of the construction area should be carried out based on the materials of detailed seismic zoning (DSR) performed by the seismic services of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).
When designing engineering structures, especially in urban conditions, it is important to take into account the general parameters of microdistricting, as well as the results of surveys conducted at the site of future construction. These works, which include geophysical, hydrogeological and engineering-geological studies, allow us to determine the characteristics of soils and hydrogeological conditions, the level of danger of impacts on buildings, as well as dependencies between parameters and the influence of general conditions on a specific construction site. The survey results are expressed in points, which allow us to assess the impact of certain parameters on the safety and durability of construction. According to these results, recommendations are being developed on the choice of optimal technical solutions, structures and materials, as well as on the choice of a place for the construction of engineering structures. Thus, conducting surveys is an integral part of the process of designing and constructing engineering structures in urban conditions. They allow you to determine the optimal place for construction, taking into account the general conditions of microdistricting and ensure the safety and durability of buildings and structures in conditions of possible impacts.
Seismic zoning of territories is the process of dividing the territory into zones characterized by different seismic activity and the probability of occurrence of earthquakes. The purpose of such zoning is to determine the level of danger of possible seismic events for specific territories and to develop appropriate measures to protect the population and infrastructure. To carry out seismic zoning, geological, geophysical and seismic studies are necessary, which allow us to determine the characteristics of soils and geological structures in the territory, as well as the history of seismic events in the region. Based on these data, the analysis and determination of zones with varying degrees of seismic activity is carried out. Seismic zoning makes it possible to identify areas of increased risk of earthquakes and determine measures to protect the population and infrastructure in these zones. For example, buildings and structures located in areas of high seismic activity require the use of special structural solutions and materials capable of withstanding possible seismic loads. Thus, seismic zoning of territories is an important stage in ensuring the safety of life and health of the population in the zone of possible seismic events. It allows you to determine the level of danger for specific territories and develop measures to protect the population and infrastructure in the event of earthquakes.
Seismic microzonation contributes to subsurface imaging by assessing the seismic hazard and ground response characteristics at a local scale. Remote sensing data, such as satellite imagery and aerial photography, is crucial for identifying surface features, land use, and geological conditions that influence seismic behavior in a specific area.
Key factors in seismic microzonation include soil type, geological structure, and ground composition. Remote sensing assists in their identification by providing data on land cover, vegetation, and surface morphology, allowing researchers to analyze and categorize geological and geotechnical features that influence seismic vulnerability.
Integrating ground-based seismic data with remote sensing information improves the accuracy of subsurface imaging by combining the depth information obtained from seismic studies with the surface features identified through remote sensing. This comprehensive approach provides a more detailed understanding of subsurface conditions and seismic hazard.
Seismic microzonation supports urban planning and construction practices by providing information on localized seismic hazards. This knowledge assists in designing structures that can withstand specific ground conditions, ultimately contributing to mitigating seismic risk in built environments. It influences zoning regulations and construction guidelines for seismic resilience.
Seismic microzonation studies using remote sensing data benefit emergency response and disaster preparedness by providing detailed information on the vulnerability of different areas to seismic events. This allows for targeted emergency planning, evacuation strategies, and the allocation of resources in earthquake-prone regions, enhancing overall disaster resilience.




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