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CROATIA / BOSNIA EARTHQUAKE MAP: M. Kišpatić: Potresi u Hrvatskoj. Tabla II.


The first scientific seismological map of Croatia and Bosnia, by the eminent seismologist Mišo Kišpatić, issued during an era of major earthquakes in the region.



This is the first scientific seismological map of Croatia and Bosnia, and it embraces the entire region within triangle from Trieste (in the northwest) to Belgrade (in the east) and Kotor (in the south).  Employing Croatian language, the map labels 15 major ‘pukotine’ (seismic fault lines) by orange lines, which are identified in the key in the lower left.  The map is the result of years of careful scientific surveys by Mišo Kišpatić, who conducted the first accurate study of the seismology of Croatia and Bosnia.

The Western Balkans is an especially active seismic zone, being the site of numerous severe earthquakes recorded from ancient times.  The 1667 Dubrovnik (Ragusa) Earthquake, which virtually leveled the city-state, changed the nature of the maritime economy of the entire Mediterranean basin.

More recently, the Great Zagreb Earthquake of November 9, 1880 (registering a 6.3 on the Richter Scale) damaged 1,785 buildings in the city, notably its cathedral.  While only a single person was killed, the event shocked people in the region.  It also provided the impetus for major attention and funding to scientific seismological research in Austria-Hungary for the first time.

Dr. Mišo Kišpatić (1751 – 1926) was a pioneering Croatian seismologist whose analysis of the 1880 Zagreb Earthquake is today considered a classic in the field.  The present map accompanied the second volume of Kišpatić’s seminal work on the earthquakes in Croatia, Potresi u Hrvatskoj (Zagreb, vol. 1 issued 1891; vol., 2, issued 1895).

Kišpatić’s book was finished the same year as the Ljubljana Earthquake of April 14 (Easter Sunday), 1895.  While only a 6.1 on the Richter Scale, the quake’s epicenter was quite shallow and the swampy ground around Ljubljana was prone to especially severe trembling.  Over 1,400 buildings were seriously damaged, necessitated a comprehensive makeover of the city.  Kišpatić’s work informed the analysis of the Ljubljana Earthquake, leading to the foundation of the first Austro-Hungarian seismological observatory, in Ljubljana, in 1897.

While the present map was extracted from a book, it is rare, as original examples of Kišpatić’s Potresi u Hrvatskoj are today hard to come by.

References: Cf. [Re: the complete book] OCLC: 652257752.

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Place and Year