• New Paper: Paleoseismology & active tectonics in Greece, and how seismic hazard zonation fails

    We published a new study dealing with paleoseismological work on the Milesi Fault near Athens, Greece. A slip rate was estimated based on GIS work, mapping, and trenching. Four surface-rupturing earthquakes in the last 4-6 ka were found, and we estimate magnitudes of around M6.2. With these input parameters, we developed a seismic hazard scenario that also takes into account site effects. Our results show that the official seismic hazard zonation in Greece, which is based on instrumental and historical records, contradicts geological data. We also show that extension in this region is not only confined to the Southern Evoikos Gulf graben system, but a significant amount of extension is accommodated by active faults closer to Athens. more

  • Carlos Benavente Escóbar

    Neotectonics and seismic hazard of the Cusco Region, Peru

    Our colleague Carlos Benavente Escóbar from the Instituto Geologico Minero Metalurgico (Peru) brought a book to my attention which was published in 2013: Neotectonics and seismic hazard of the Cusco Region. The book is in Spanish, but you will find it easy to understand what it’s about, because it is full of fascinating images of faults, fault scarps, seismites, liquefaction features, geological maps, and outcrop sketches. Have a look, it’s great! The book can be viewed online for free and is also available for download. more

  • DorieoCC BY 2.0

    EEEs of today’s Mw6.5 earthquake in Greece

    A shallow Mw6.5 earthquake hit western Greece today in the morning. The quake had a right-lateral strike-slip mechanism and occurred at the Cephalonia transform, offshore Levkada. Two people died and some damage to buildings was reported. The event caused environmental earthquake effects (EEEs), namely widespread rockfalls that produced an amazing dust cloud. The blog North Ithaca has some great pictures of collapsed walls, damage to buildings and the dust cloud.


  • PhD position at RWTH Aachen (Germany): Neotectonics, GIS & Remote Sensing

    RWTH Aachen University seeks, as soon as possible,
    a geoscientist (f/m) with a background in neotectonics, GIS and Remote Sensing skills for a PhD position in the research project ALMOND („Albania and Montenegro Neotectonic Deformation“). This project is a collaboration between RWTH Aachen University and the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


  • Earthquake Geology sessions at the 16 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Chile, 2017

    The 16 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering will be held from 9-13 January, 2017, in Santiago de Chile. Note that the deadline for short abstracts submission is 23 November, 2015! Abstracts can be submitted via this link.

    This meeting comes with a number of sessions which are interesting for earthquake geologists, paleoseismologists and those of us who deal with seismic hazard assessments. Among them: more

  • This was my field work on active faults in Kazakhstan 2015 (pt. II)

    The first part of my report on the field work that I did in Kazakhstan this year focussed on the stuff we had done in the South. Here is part II which is all about the Dzhungarian Fault. You’ve never heard about this fault? That’s easily possible. There are only very few papers that deal with this fault. In the 1960s Soviet geologist V.S. Voytovich published results from extensive field work on this fault (Voytovich, 1965; 1969). 40-50 years later a few studies on geodesy and geodynamics covered the broader study area and Shen et al. (2003) did some work in the Chinese part of the fault, but it took until 2013 before Campbell et al. revisited the Kazakh side and came up with new field data. They focussed on the tectonic geomorphology of this structure and determined a slip rate. Given this little amount of research done one would assume that the fault is not very large and of minor importance, but the opposite is true. The fault is around 300 km long in its Kazakh section and probably twice as long in total! more

  • New papers on paleoseismology, tsunamis, and the Gorkha Earthquake

    A few days ago, SRL published a special issue on the Gorkha earthquakes with lots of interesting papers. I especially like the work of Angster et al. with their impressive photos of the earthquake ground effects. Make sure to download the electronic supplement to this article!

    Besides this special issue, a good number of other interesting papers have been published recently on paleoseismicity, active tectonics, seismic hazard, and tsunamis. Among them is Andi’s work on the Ejina basin and Serva et al. with a introduction of using the ESI scale for earthquake hazard assessments. Enjoy reading! more

  • This was my field work on active faults in Kazakhstan 2015 (pt. I)

    I’ve spent several weeks in Eastern Kazakhstan this summer for paleoseismological field work. During the first part of this trip we looked at some thrust and strike-slip faults in the Ili Basin and the Saty area. The second part was almost entirely devoted to study the Dzhungarian Fault. I’ll blog about this second part later. Eleanor, David, Austin and me were the UK representatives in our team. We were so lucky to have Kanatbek from Kyrgyzstan and Aydin from Kazakhstan with us. They did not only lead us to all the interesting places and helped us to understand the geology and the tectonics, but they also did a fanatastic job organizing the field trip and dealing with the local surprises, which as you know happen in basically every field trip.

    Our first study site was located at the northern boundary of the Ili Basin, where we did some work last year already. more

  • New papers on Paleoseismology and Geoethics

    Several new studies have been published recently on old earthquakes and their geological footprint – time to list them and to recommend reading. Additionally, today’s paper digest also lists several articles which are not about paleoseismology, but geoethics. These papers were published in a special volume of GSL. They cover subjects that many paleoseismologists will have dealt with in the past or are likely to deal with in the future  – seismic risk perception, science communication, public outreach, and communicating uncertainties. One paper is dedicated to the L’Aquila trial. I find it very telling that this issue is not open access. Obviously, strengthening “public trust in geosciences” has still a long way to go…

    Here are the latest papers:


  • Franziska FaciusCC BY-SA 3.0

    New paper: Evolution of dilatant faults in the Canyonlands NP, Utah

    The Canyonlands National Park, Utah, is famous for its beautiful landscape and spectacular landforms. For many geoscientists it is also well-known as a sandstone reservoir analogue and as a tourist you’ll often run into groups of geologists on field trips. It’s a matter of debate how and how fast the beautiful grabens in the Needles Fault zone formed – these are large arcuate canyons several tens of kilometres in length, paralleling the Colorado River. In a new paper we present results from remote sensing, mapping, and georadar (GPR). Our aim was to better understand the coupling between deformation, erosion and deposition in such an active system. Based on our findings we developed a model of graben formation and describe the geometry of the dilatant faults at depth. We argue that either the grabens are older than previously assumed or that sedimentation rates were much higher in the Pleistocene.



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