Italy’s Database of Individual Seismogenic Sources (DISS) v. 3.2.0 now online

Great news from Italy – A new version of the Database of Individual Seismogenic Sources (DISS) is now online! A huge amount of work went into this latest release which has several important updates and a fantastic new amount of data. Our colleague Umberto Fracassi sent me the following description of the new features:

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Paleoseismology Through Sedimentology

The Megablock Complex: An example from the East African Rift

Recognizing and interpreting seismite horizons (soft-sediment deformation generated by earthquakes) preserved in the sedimentary record is an underappreciated approach for paleoseismic analysis. The addition of sedimentological studies to a toolkit that includes other well-established methods, such as instrumental seismic monitoring and fault trenching, can provide a less expensive and more practical option for earthquake hazard prediction and preparation in certain areas. For example, this may be a good option in less developed regions and in areas where fault trenching may not be possible. Moreover, there is a lot that we can learn rheologically from the study of seismites that could be invaluable for modeling the behavior of the surface/near-surface during seismic activity. Similarly, investigating Quaternary strata in areas that may be prone to seismicity, which may or may not have a recorded history of major earthquakes, can illuminate important information about earthquake recurrence patterns and intervals, in much the same way as fault trenching. Continue reading “Paleoseismology Through Sedimentology”

Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters – The field trips part II: Qipan gully debris flow

It’s Friday – but instead of the Friday links I have the story of a giant post earthquake debris flow in the Wenchuan area for you. As I already announced in my last post about the field trip to the Wenchuan earthquake epicenter in frame of the International Symposium on Mega-Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters and Long Term Effects in Chengdu, China, I still wanted to blog about the Qipan gully debris flow that we also visited during the field trip. After giving you some background information I will take you on the hike with us. We will first see massive destruction in the residential area and then have a look at the debris flow deposits and some mitigation structures while climbing up the gully. Come on, let’s go! Continue reading “Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters – The field trips part II: Qipan gully debris flow”

Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters – The field trips part I: Wenchuan epicenter

In my last post I blogged about the International Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters and Long Term Effects in Chengdu, China, and now I want to report about one of the field trips that I participated after the symposium. While we spent the morning and early afternoon at the Qipan gully to look at a giant debris flow that occurred five years after the earthquake, in the afternoon we had the chance to visit the memorial site of the 2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, which is basically the collapsed building of a middle school close to the epicenter that was left as it was after the earthquake. I want to report about this site first because it is more about the earthquake itself. In my next post I will report about the Qipan gully debris flow. Continue reading “Symposium on Mega Earthquake Induced Geo-disasters – The field trips part I: Wenchuan epicenter”

ISPRA volume “Earthquake Environmental Effect for seismic hazard assessment: the ESI intensity scale and the EEE Catalogue”

Earthquake Environmental Effects (EEE) have proven to be valuable for describing past earthquakes and their geological imprints. The ESI2007 is a relatively new intensity scale dedicated to such effects, but also integrating traditional macroseismic scales. Examples of ESI2007 intensities assigned to large earthquakes are being collected in the EEE web catalogue hosted by the ISPRA and ESI2007-related work is conducted in the framework of INQUA.

Another milestone now has been achieved with the ISPRA volume “Earthquake Environmental Effect for seismic hazard assessment: the ESI intensity scale and the EEE Catalogue”. This book is now available online here. It contains updates on the ESI2007, examples of applications, documentation of the EEE Android App, a huge reference list and, most importantly, the ESI2007 description in ten languages: Continue reading “ISPRA volume “Earthquake Environmental Effect for seismic hazard assessment: the ESI intensity scale and the EEE Catalogue””

Workshop ‘Earthquake activity and hazard in northwest Europe’, Belgium, 15 October, 2015

Our colleagues in Belgium have reasons to celebrate! At the Membach station they’re monitoring seismic activity for 40 years now, and 20 years ago the superconducting gravimeter started working. To commemorate this the Royal Observatory of Belgium and the Public Services of Wallonia organize a scientific workshop on Earthquake activity and hazard in northwest Europe. The workshop will be held on 15 October 2015 at the Gileppe Dam Tower.

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This was the Fucino15 meeting – part III

In the last two posts I have reported on the scientific sessions of the Fucino15 conference and on the first of the field trips. This post is about the L’Aquila field trip. I haven’t been to this city before and I was curious to see the place that sadly became so famous in earthquake science. I was surprised by how many heavily damaged buildings were still standing and by the overwhelming amount of historical buildings that await their reconstruction. We were given a great tour through the Palazzo Ardinghelli which is currently being rebuilt, then we had a look at the worst-affected parts of the city. Here’s a report in images. Continue reading “This was the Fucino15 meeting – part III”

Tectonics from above – RAS discussion meeting

Last Friday the RAS held a discussion meeting on Tectonics from Above: Recent Advances in the Use of High-resolution Topography and Imagery in London. Almost the entire Cambridge Tectonics Group went there and I absolutely enjoyed the meeting and the discussion with friends and colleagues mainly from the UK and from France. The speakers reported on open-source software for producing high-res DEMs, advances in aerial and satellite imagery, new techniques in remote sensing, and latest developments in fault/offset mapping. The meeting was supported by NERC, COMET+ and LICS. Continue reading “Tectonics from above – RAS discussion meeting”

A new Nuclear Power Plant near Karachi

Tsunami boulder deposits in Oman

Karachi is the most populated city in Pakistan with around 24,000,000 inhabitants – just as many as Australia. Since many years a nuclear power plant (NPP) is located just a few miles outside the city at the shore. Ongoing work on new reactors with Chinese help has recently sparked outrage and media coverage. Concerns are that any accidents at the NPP might have dramatic consequences and threaten millions of people. I searched the recent scientific literature on seismic and tsunami hazard for Karachi…

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Mw4.4 earthquake in the Fucino Basin

On 28 February, an earthquake of MW4.4 occurred in the Fucino Basin in Central Italy. The event did not cause any damage and was not widely felt. Such an earthquake is nothing special for this area, but it’s interesting because from 19-24 April the 6th INQUA meeting on paleoseismology will be held in Pescina. The conference will bring together scientists from all around the world to discuss latest developments in active tectonics, paleoseismology and similar topics, and its date and location were chosen to commemorate the devastating Fucino earthquake of 1915. This quake left more than 33,000 people dead and was one of the largest earthquakes to hit the Mediterranean in modern history. It was also subject to a number of paleoseismological studies (see links below). Continue reading “Mw4.4 earthquake in the Fucino Basin”