Malawi Fault & Seismic Source Databases

Malawi Active Fault Database

To reference this database please refer to the latest release of the dataset on Github and Zenodo and please also cite:

Williams, J. N., Wedmore, L. N. J., Scholz, C. A., Kolawole, F., Wright, L. J. M., Shillington, D., Fagereng, Å., Biggs, J., Mdala, H., Dulanya, Z., Mphepo, F., Chindandali, P. R. N., Werner, M. J. (2022), The Malawi Active Fault Database: an onshore-offshore database for regional assessment of seismic hazard and tectonic evoultion. _Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 23(5), e2022GC010425.

For full details of the database, please refer to the journal article above.

Malawi Seismogenic Source Model

The Malawi Seismogenic Source Model (MSSM) is a geospatial database that documents the geometry, slip rate and seismogenic properties (ie earthquake magnitude and frequency) of active faults in Malawi. Each geospatial feature represents a potential earthquake rupture of ‘source’ and is classified based on its geometry into one of three types:

  • section
  • fault
  • multi-fault

Source types are mutually exclusice, and so if incorporated into a PSHA, they should be assigned relative weightings.

The MSSM is the first seismogenic source database in central and northern Malawi, and represents an update of the South Malawi Seismogenic Source Database (SMSSD; Williams et al., 2021a) because it incorporates new active fault traces (Kolawole et al., 2021; Williams et al., 2021b; 2022MAFD), new geodetic data (Wedmore et al., 2021) and a statistical treatment of uncertainty, within a logic tree approach.

The seismogenic sources in this model are adapted from the faults in the Malawi Active Fault Database (Williams et al., 2021b; 2022).

Prior to publication please cite this database using the following two references:

Williams, JN, Wedmore, LNJ, Fagereng, Å, Werner, MJ, Mdala, H, Shillington, DJ, Scholz, CA, Folawole, F, Wright, LJM, Biggs, J, Dulanya, Z, Mphepo, F, Chindandali, P. 2022. Geologic and geodetic constraints on the magnitude and frequency of earthquakes along Malawi’s active faults: the Malawi Seismogenic Source Model (MSSM). Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Science, 22, 3607-3639,

Williams, Jack N., Wedmore, Luke N. J., Fagereng, Åke, Werner, Maximilian J., Biggs, Juliet, Mdala, Hassan, Kolawole, Folarin, Shillington, Donna J., Dulanya, Zuze, Mphepo, Felix, Chindandali, Patrick R. N., Wright, Lachlan J. M., & Scholz, Christopher A. (2021). Malawi Seismogenic Source Model [Data set]. Zenodo.