• Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity

    In a recent post on this forum, Angela Landgraf shared a digest of the long and winding road having led to the publication of Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. Reading this post in the midst of wrapping up the edition of our Minoan Earthquakes volume, I could only sympathize with her concerns and hopes for the future of edited books at a time when impact factors and other author-level metrics all too often dictate academic choices.

    Four years and a half (!) after the Out of Rubble Leuven workshop (29-30 November 2012), we are proud to announce the publication of Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity at Leuven University Press. Reasons for such delay are manifold but chief among them is our editorial choice of producing a coherent volume that might be used as an up-to-date toolbox for readers interested in the broader field of archaeoseismology – not just Minoan archaeoseismology – and its (necessary) relationship to other, better established, disciplines. This choice is reflected by the structure of the book and breadth of topics covered by its authors, ranging from seismology, paleoseismology, geophysics, architecture, engineering and, of course, Minoan archaeology. Although we will ultimately leave readers to judge how successful we were in this endeavor, we are encouraged by Iain Stewart’s appreciation of the volume:

    The impressive breadth and depth of this volume is testimony to how far the field has progressed in the past two decades. This volume deserves to be read widely by earthquake scientists and archaeologists, for the significance of its messages extends far beyond the Minoan arena.

    We would like to take the opportunity of this post to thank again our panel of authors and reviewers for their trust, patience, and hard work – this project would never have been completed without their expertise and dedication. We are also grateful to the editorial team at Leuven University Press for skillfully shepherding this book to publication. Although we would have liked to see this volume appear much earlier, we believe (hope) the result was worth the wait.

    The book can be purchased directly from Leuven University Press.

     

    Table of contents:

    List of key abbreviations and definitions

    Chronological table

     

    Part 1: Introduction and theoretical background

    Chapter 1

    ‘In bulls doth the Earth-Shaker delight’ – Introduction to the volume (Jan Driessen)

    Chapter 2

    Seismological issues of concern for archaeoseismology (Susan E. Hough)

    Chapter 3

    Palaeoseismology (James P. McCalpin)

    Chapter 4

    Archaeoseismology (Manuel Sintubin)

    Chapter 5

    Non-invasive techniques in archaeoseismology (Christoph Grützner & Thomas Wiatr)

     

    Part 2: Geological and seismotectonic context

    Chapter 6

    The geological setting of Crete: an overview (Charalampos Fassoulas)

    Chapter 7

    Earthquake sources and seismotectonics in the area of Crete (Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos)

    Chapter 8

    The palaeoseismological study of capable faults on Crete (Jack Mason & Klaus Reicherter)

     

    Part 3: Minoan archaeoseismology

     Chapter 9

    Archaeoseismological research on Minoan Crete: past and present (Simon Jusseret)

    Chapter 10

    An architectural style of openness and mutability as stimulus for the development of an earthquake-resistant building technology at Akrotiri, Thera, and Minoan Crete (Clairy Palyvou)

    Chapter 11

    Minoan structural systems: earthquake-resistant characteristics. The role of timber (Eleftheria Tsakanika)

     

    Part 4: Case studies

    Chapter 12

    Evidence for three earthquakes at Mochlos in the Neopalatial period, c. 1700-1430 BC (Jeffrey S. Soles, Floyd W. McCoy & Rhonda Suka)

     Chapter 13

    Punctuation in palatial prehistory: earthquakes as the stratigraphical markers of the 18th-15th centuries BC in central Crete (Colin F. Macdonald)

    Chapter 14

    Man the measure: earthquakes as depositional agents in Minoan Crete (Tim Cunningham)

     

    Part 5: Critical appraisal and conclusion

     Chapter 15

    Earthquakes and Minoan Crete: breaking the myth through interdisciplinarity (Simon Jusseret & Manuel Sintubin)

     

    About the authors

    About the editors

    Index

     

  • New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (Jun 2017)

    Today’s paper list is rather long; presumably all the papers written during the winter are coming to publication now. We have lots of different topics today, so I will skip the summary and just say: Enjoy reading! more

  • Use late-Holocene tidal notches as earthquake geological effects?

    Tidal notches are a generally excepted sea-level marker. Particularly in the Mediterranean, those shoreline indicators are oftentimes used to infer coastal coseismic activity when they occur displaced from present day sea-level. Now, paleoseismologists should be able to visualize coastal evolution in order to better understand coseismic history. more

  • PATA Days 2017: Registration is now open

    The registration for the 2017 PATA Days INQUA meeting (International meeting on Paleoseismology, Archaeoseismology & Active Tectonics) in New Zealand is now open. Safe the dates 13th – 16th November 2017 and make sure to check out the wonderful field trip options.

    Registration website: https://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/Events/PATA/Registration

    See you all in New Zealand in November!

  • Graduate Student/PostDoc Position available in Haifa – Integrated tsunami hazard study: Modeling and sediments

    This very interesting job offer was sent around by our colleague Beverly Goodman-Tchernov:

    Past tsunami events have impacted the Israeli coastline, and future tsunamis are anticipated.  Physical evidence exists both in historical written records and sedimentological field deposits. Incorporating physical evidence with computational modeling makes it possible to better understand the magnitude of past events and create realistic predictions for the future. The project is in collaboration with Geological Survey of Israel, Virginia Tech, IOLR, and the University of Haifa. It will use multi-sourced data to produce modeling scenarios for past tsunamis and produce a complex reference set of theoretical scenarios to be used in practical real-time hazard assessments. more

  • Paper: Using georadar and a mobile geoelectrics device to map shallow sediment distribution on a large scale

    [UPDATE 2017-05-14: The links now lead to the free version of the paper, available until 30 June.]

    Together with my colleagues I have published a new paper in which we describe a methodology for mapping the shallow architecture of large sedimentary basins with minimum effort and high resolution. We use two geophysical methods and combine them with point information from shallow drillings to identify different types of alluvial, fluvial, and aeolian sediments in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. We then show that our results fit well with a remote sensing approach. Although we did not target active faults in our study, the methodology is well suitable for detecting deformed/offset sediments without surface expression due to high erosion or sedimentation rates. That’s why I feel the study is of interest for the fault-hunting community. more

  • PATA Days 2017 in New Zealand: Field trip programme out now!

    The organisers of the PATA Days 2017 in New Zealand have provided details on the planned field trips. There will be a 1-day field trip at the start of meeting, and an optional 3-day post-meeting field trip. Some of the field trip details are not yet finalised because we don’t know the state of road access to some areas impacted by the Kaikoura earthquake. They will post a final itinerary in early November. Have a look at the programme and enjoy the magnificient field photos!

    more

  • New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (May 2017)

    It’s just a few months after the Kaikoura earthquake and now the first papers have been published already. Today’s paper round-up also includes studies on dating tsunami boulders, turbidite paleoseismology, paleoseismology in the Tien Shan, the recent Italy and New Zealand earthquakes, and earthquakes and social media. Enjoy reading! more

  • Active faults around Cusco (Perú): field work on paleoseismology and archaeoseismology for project Cusco-PATA

    The city of Cusco in Perú has been hit by damaging earthquakes several times in its long history. In Inka times a strong earthquake destroyed parts of the city, and the Spanish invaders documented an earthquake that happened in 1650. Three hundred years later, in 1950, an earthquake destroyed large parts of modern Cusco and in 1986 a M6.1 event also led to damages in the city. In order to better understand the active normal faulting in the region, INGEMMET has launched the project Cusco-PATA (Paleoseismology, Archaeoseismology and Active Tectonics – “pata” also means “scarp” in Quechua). The project brings together scientists from Perú, Spain, France, and the UK. The 2017 field campaign started in mid-April with work on the archaeological sites in and around Cusco and paleoseismological trenching of the Pachatusan Fault. more

  • Paper: Post-seismic deformation reveals a significant seismic hazard is still present at Bam (Iran)

    In 2003 a devastating Mw 6.6 earthquake shook the city of Bam in the remote Kerman region of SE Iran, killing at least 31,000 people. This was one of the most destructive earthquakes on record in Iran, and racked up the fifth largest death toll of any earthquake since the year 2000. This blog post will focus on highlighting research which shows that even after this awful natural disaster, the hazard posed by faults in the area is likely to have remained high, contrary to many common assumptions.

    Immediately following the Bam earthquake scientists scrambled to map the housing damage, surface fractures, aftershock patterns and co-seismic deformation to better understand the earthquake source [1][2]. One such study found that the structure responsible for the extreme shaking  at Bam was a previously unrecognised near-vertical strike-slip fault directly beneath the city, which ruptured between 2-8 km depth [3]. However, accurate aftershock locations suggested that the fault zone could generate earthquakes well below the base of the 2003 rupture patch, to nearly 20 km depth [4].

    Slip distribution during the 2003 Bam earthquake and the associated aftershocks (white circles). The aftershocks are clearly occurring below the co-seismic rupture, suggesting the bottom half of the fault is seismogenic and unruptured.

    Slip distribution during the 2003 Bam earthquake and the associated aftershocks (white circles). The aftershocks are clearly occurring below the co-seismic rupture, suggesting the bottom half of the fault is seismogenic and unruptured.

    The observation that only part of the seismogenic layer at Bam had ruptured in 2003 posed a series of important questions for the future seismic hazard in this already fragile region:

    (1) Will post-seismic deformation mechanisms relax the stress changes generated by the 2003 earthquake on the fault surface aseismically?

    (2) What is the future seismic hazard at Bam?

    In a recent paper published in Geophysical Journal International, we have addressed these questions, as well as other topics of academic interest, by studying the post-seismic deformation after the Bam earthquake [5].

    more

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