Active fault surveying and prospecting is the fundamental work for earthquake prevention and disaster reduction. China began to conduct quantitative research on active faults in the 1980s, and then carried out surveying and prospecting of active faults and seismic hazards assessment in several cities. The results provide a scientific basis for urban land planning, urban disaster prevention planning, construction project site selection and fault setbacks, potential seismic hazards investigation, earthquake emergency preparedness, etc.
Standards research in surveying and prospecting of active faults began at the beginning of this century in pace with the development of professional work. Since 2013, the research on the technical system and standards system about surveying and prospecting of active faults was carried out, and a series of standards for technical methods and outcomes were compiled successively. Currently, 1 national standard and 9 sectors standards have been released, and 11 standards are in processing. The national standard GB/T 36072 “Surveying and Prospecting of Active Fault” stipulates the process, content, outcomes, and main technical methods. The 9 sectors standards cover techniques and methods consisting of remote sensing survey, fault geomorphological survey, paleo-seismic trenching, drilling, and fault strip mapping, and stipulate the requirements for the steps, technical indicators, and outcomes of the corresponding technical methods. These standards have become important technical support for active fault survey and prospecting and the main basis for operational supervision.
However, there are still many gaps in the standards, and there are obvious contradictions between the supply and demand of the standards. At the same time, the compiling of standards for surveying and prospecting of active faults scattered in different periods and institutions, leading to the problems of function matching and technical indicators coordination among standards. This paper applies comprehensive standardization to surveying and prospecting of active faults, with the objectives to improve the work quality and the application benefit, by regarding the standardization object as a complete system, decomposing comprehensively the relevant elements in three aspects: business process, outcomes and application, and constructing the standard-complex of surveying and prospecting active faults. This is the first attempt to apply comprehensive standardization to the earthquake industry.
The working process of surveying and prospecting of active faults can be decomposed into six steps: preparation and revision of implementation plan, determination of fault spatial distribution and parameters, identification of fault activity, analysis of the deep seismic-tectonic environment, assessment of seismic hazards of active faults, and determination of fault deformation zone width. The preparation and revision of the implementation plan comprise data collection, controlled detection, preliminary identification of fault activity, and revision of the implementation plan; the determination of fault spatial distribution and parameters include the implementation and on-site investigation of technical methods such as high-resolution remote sensing interpretation, geological and geomorphic investigation, fault geomorphological survey, geophysical exploration, drilling, paleo-seismic trenching, and dating. The relevant elements of the business process mainly include the work content, technical methods, and technical requirements for project implementation of these links, as well as the technical requirements for project implementation plan preparation and outcomes check and acceptance.
The outcomes of surveying and prospecting active faults are divided into survey data, professional outcomes maps, reports, databases, etc. The relevant elements of the outcomes mainly include the technical requirements of the original data and the phased outcomes obtained from the analysis, professional outcomes maps, reports, and databases.
The application of surveying and prospecting of active faults is oriented to meet the needs of disaster reduction, and its outcomes are applied to the practice of earthquake prevention and disaster reduction. Relevant elements of application mainly include technical requirements for fault classification and fault cataloging, three-dimensional modeling, hazard assessment, fault avoidance, data management, and information service system construction.
Based on the analysis of relevant elements of business process, outcomes, and application, combined with the current status of existing standards, the framework structure of five sequences on surveying and prospecting of active faults standard-complex is put forward, namely, business foundation, project implementation, technical method, outcomes, and application, together with a detailed list of 41 standards. Among them there are 8 items of business foundation, 3 items of project implementation, 15 items of technology and methods, 10 items of outcomes, and 5 items of application.
The standard-complex of surveying and prospecting of active faults covers the standards required by the entire business chain, and the standards are interconnected and coordinated. Taking the advantage of the complete set of standards will lay a good foundation for further improving the standardization level of surveying and prospecting of active faults and accelerating the progress of developing standards, and also provide a beneficial demonstration for the high-quality innovative and standardization development of other business areas of earthquake prevention and disaster reduction.