Georadar on active (?) faults in Oman

I am currently at GUtech in Oman, a sister university of RWTH Aachen University, for teaching Geophysics and I spend most of the free time in the field with my colleague Gösta Hoffmann. On Friday we went to the Batinah area NW of Mascat to look for active faults. The Batinah is a plain of most likely Quaternary age, made up from the sediments delivered from the huge mountains in the south. Folded Tertiary limestones are cropping out close to the mountain range. Some of them are covered by Quaternary gravels, others aren’t. Continue reading “Georadar on active (?) faults in Oman”

Inside a fault

In September, Klaus and me lead a MSc student excursion to southwestern Germany. We not only went through the entire stratigraphy of that area (mainly Triassic and Jura), but also visited the salt mine in Stetten, quarries in Dotternhausen (opalinus clay, posidonia schist, Malm), the Kaiserstuhl carbonatite volcano complex and the Upper Rhine Graben area. One of my personal highlights was the Freudenstädter Graben, a small tectonic graben striking NW-SE, whose NE main fault is exposed in an old mine in Hallwangen. Continue reading “Inside a fault”

Israel Journal of Earth Sciences: special issue on the Dead Sea Rift

I hope you have reserved some time for reading – here comes plenty of great new material on one of the most interesting tectonic features on earth, the Dead Sea Transform. The Israel Journal of Earth Sciences has published a special issue: The Dead Sea Rift as a natural laboratory for neotectonics and paleoseismology, Volume 58, Number 3 – 4. The papers are an outcome of the 2009 INQUA joint Israel/Jordan fieldtrip with the same name. I was lucky enough to have participated in that field trip. It was for sure one of the best field trips I ever had. Continue reading “Israel Journal of Earth Sciences: special issue on the Dead Sea Rift”

SSA meeting in San Diego (& excursion to active faults!)

Klaus and me went to the SSA 2012 annual meeting in San Diego in April. The conference was great and very focussed. I really like that kind of rather small meetings, where almost everything is interesting for me. I saw a lot of interesting posters and great talks and especially liked the paleoseismology and archeoseismology sessions (of course!).

Continue reading “SSA meeting in San Diego (& excursion to active faults!)”

The Wednesday Centerfault (8) – Virginia M5.8 Earthquake

Yesterday, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake happened near Mineral, Virginia in a depth of 6 km only (37.936°N, 77.933°W) with a thrust faulting mechanism. Media report that the quake was felt as far as Boston and even Canada to the north, but significantly less far away in southern direction. The US East Coast quakes are normally felt in a wide range, since the crust there is old, cold and dense which makes it easy for the seismic waves to propagate. Some damage occurred at the epicentral area, but apparently there were no fatalities. From the earthquake effects (Chimneys collapsed, walls cracked, some springs showed changes) and instrumental measurements an epicentral intensity of VII can be determined. Continue reading “The Wednesday Centerfault (8) – Virginia M5.8 Earthquake”

The Wednesday Centerfault (7)

This week’s centerfault is a very prominent one that you will know for sure – the Dead Sea Fault. The sinistral strike-slip fault marks the boundary between the Arabian plate and the Sinai. The entire system is more than 600 km long and has accommodated ~107 km of slip since Miocene. Magnitude 7 is no problem for this structure and the recurrence intervalls are short. Continue reading “The Wednesday Centerfault (7)”

The Wednesday Centerfault (6)

This day’s Centerfault is one of the longest and best investigated faults in Spain, the sinistral Carboneras Fault Zone (CFZ) in Andalusia (36.85°N, 2.25°W). In the north, the CFZ is bounded by the Palomares fault, its southern tip reaches the Gulf of Almería. The NE-SW striking fault zone stretches over 50 km onshore and additional 100 km offshore (Gràcia et al., 2006) and is, therefore, capable of earthquakes with magnitudes > 7. It is one of the three major strike-slip faults in the Betics (Bell et al., 1997). Continue reading “The Wednesday Centerfault (6)”

The Wednesday Centerfault (5)

After we dealt with some faults in Greece, let’s move to Spain. The Ventas de Zafarraya Fault (VZF) west of the Granada basin (36.96° N, 4.14°W) has a beautiful morphologic expression and an exciting history. The fault bounds the Zafarraya polje to the south, with Quaternary sediments to the north (hanging wall) and limestones of the Internal Subbetics in the footwall. Continue reading “The Wednesday Centerfault (5)”

The Wednesday Centerfault (4)

This day’s Centerfault is the Sparta Fault in southern Greece (37.1°N 23.3°E). Being situated on the Peloponessus, the fault marks one of the most prominent geomorphological features of the peninsula. It is famous for the historical 464 BC earthquake that destroyed ancient Sparta. However,  the days of Spartian glory ended much later after a severe military defeat in the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, Sparta never fully recovered. Continue reading “The Wednesday Centerfault (4)”