• 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

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

    Today in the paper round-up (April 2017): Active Tectonics of the Makran, postseismic deformation at Bam, active faults and paleoseismology in Italy, Switzerland & Alaska, the first papers on the Kaikoura earthquake, tsunamis in Chile and the Western Mediterranean, and faults in Mexico. Enjoy reading! more

  • Using Dust and Pollen to sleuth the origin of lacustrine seismites

    For quite some time (~7 years), I have been noticing that Holocene Dead Sea seismites frequently have a thin dark flat lying fine grained  layer of sediment on top. When I finally gained access to some electron microscopes at Cambridge University in 2013, I saw that these thin layers were very fine grained. After consultation with Dust Geologist Dr. Ken Pye, I came to the conclusion that they appeared to be proximal dust deposits. It was around that time that I realized that Dead Sea earthquakes probably kicked up dust clouds that then settled atop the seismite. An example of a dust cloud kicked up by an earthquake in Mexico is featured in my crowd funding pitch video (Jerusalem Quake Seasonality on Kickstarter ) and can be seen here (Mountain front dust clouds – Mexicali Quake of 2010 ). Christoph Gruetzner, who is also intrigued by the link between seismicity and dust, has accumulated a number of videos showing “dustquakes” on his YouTube channel[1]. more

  • The Great Wenchuan Earthquake eight years on: earthquake damage and coseismic landslides

    Last October I was given the chance to attend the “iRALL school on field data collection, monitoring, and modeling of large landslides” in Chengdu, China. During the school, we spent one week in the epicentral area of the Ms=8.0 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, where I was able to take some interesting pictures of earthquake damage and coseismic landslides. Then other things happened, like the earthquakes in Italy and New Zealand, with exciting sights from the field shared here, and I never ended up sharing my Wenchuan pics, which I want to do now. more

  • 5th Regional Meeting on Quaternary Geology dedicated to Geohazards, Croatia

    Our colleague Petra Jamšek Rupnik from the Geological Survey of Slovenia sent us this interesting meeting announcement. The conference will focus on geological hazards, including active tectonics in Croatia and adjacent areas. Plus, there will be an interesting field trip to Croatia and Slovenia:

    more

  • Call for contributions to textbook ‘Structural Geology and Tectonics: Problems and Solutions’

    Our colleague Åke Fagereng from Cardiff University will edit a textbook on problems in structural geology and tectonics together with Soumyajit Mukherjee and Andrea Billi. The editors invite contributions from the tectonics community. Perhaps you have a nice active tectonics exercise to share? Here is the announcement: more

  • Stefano GoriAll rights reserved

    Call for papers: TECTONICS Spec. Iss. “The 2016 Central Italy Seismic Sequence: Insights, implications and lessons learned”

    Our colleague Lucilla Benedetti (CEREGE, France) distributed the following call for papers on the recent earthquake series in Central Italy:

    Dear Colleagues,

    We would like to invite contributions to a special volume entitled « The 2016 Central Italy Seismic Sequence: Insights, implications and lessons learned » that will be published in Tectonics AGU journal (details here).

    more

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

    It is time for the monthly list of papers that could be interesting for the earthquake geology community. Lots of new papers this time, and too many different topics to list them in detail. Enjoy reading! more

  • Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions

    book_front

    It’s a book!

    Sometimes, things need time to evolve. And when they finally arrive, all laborious work and cumulated frustration is almost immediately forgotten in a flash of joy, a little bit of pride, and a lot of relief. What sounds pretty pathetic here is a summary of the process that lead to the recent Geological Society of London Special Publication 432: Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. While we will mostly advertise the volume, which should be of broad interest to the Paleoseismicity community (so please buy it, like it, share it!), we would also like to share some thoughts about why four years passed between submission of the volume proposal at the end of 2012 to seeing the book finally in the shelf at the beginning of 2017. more

  • Martin LuffCC BY-SA 2.0

    Paper: The Canterbury earthquake sequence and earthquake environmental effects

    Now that the new dates for the 8th PATA Days 2017 in New Zealand are fixed, it is time to bring to your attention an exceptional paper that was already published in 2016. I planned to write a review long time ago, but I just managed to do so now. The paper by Quigley et al. is not only likely to become your favourite read during the long flight to New Zealand, but it will also serve as an extremely valuable contribution to the study of earthquake environmental effects (EEEs) in general. The authors report on, and summarise, the effects that the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence had on the environment. The paper is special in many ways: more

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