In 2013 the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) –www.globalquakemodel.org – published seven Requests for Proposal covering topics related to the compilation of basic datasets as well as the creation and calculation of an updated probabilistic seismic hazard input model for South America. This initiative is now named the South America Risk Assessment Project (SARA).
Five consortia of South American researchers responded to this request and submitted proposals for the Hazard Component of SARA. These proposals has been recently endorsed by GEM and will constitute different datasets or topic layers for SARA. They include databases on historical and instrumental seismicity, hazardous faults (Quaternary deformation), tectonic geodesy and ground motions. more
On 24 September, 2013, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred in Balochistan, Pakistan. The quake caused intense ground motions and had dramatic consequences – hundreds of people died, and more than 100,000 lost their homes. A secondary effect which caught much attention in the international media was the birth of an island off the Pakistani coast – Zalzala Jazeera or Earthquake Island. Another effect which went almost completely unnoticed was a small tsunami in the Arabian Sea. The tsunami reached wave heights of around 1 m at the Omani coast. In a paper which was recently published in Geology, my colleagues and me document the tsunami effects in Oman. We conclude on a submarine slide off Pakistan as the likely trigger mechanism.
During the last three weeks I have been to Kazakhstan for paleoseismological field work and to summarize this journey: It was amazing! The trip was part of the Earthquakes without Frontiers project (EwF). This research project is funded by NERC and ESRC and aims on increasing the knowledge on earthquake hazards in Central Asia. The field work was lead by Richard Walker and scientists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the UK had a close look at fault scarps in the easternmost parts of the country. Our aim was to determine the slip rates of some of the longest and most prominent thrust and strike-slip faults in the area. more
This summer and fall will be trenching time, our Belgian, Dutch and Austrian colleagues are opening paleoseismological trenches. The DEM/image of the last post by Christoph shows already some morphological relevant faults in the Aachen area (recognized by the rectangular open-pit lignite mines) that are striking NW-SE. more
Intraplate earthquakes are those that occur far away from plate boundaries in what is often also referred to as slowly deforming regions or stable continental regions (SCR). Seismicity there is comparably low and earthquake recurrence intervals can easily exceed thousands of years for individual faults. However, intraplate quakes do account for a significant number of earthquake fatalities and killed more people than those that happened at plate boundaries during the last 100 years (England & Jackson , 2011). A new book has been published a few days ago, dedicated to summarizing our knowledge of these seismic events. more
On 26 January and 3 February, 2014, two strong and shallow strike-slip earthquakes of magnitude 6+ occured beneath the island of Cephalonia in Western Greece. Both events caused intense damage to buildings and infrastructure. A team of Greek geologists mapped earthquake environmental effects (EEE) such as liquefaction, road failures, rock falls, small/medium size landslides and stonewall failures. The results are now published in a paper in Tectonophysics. more
Today (2014-05-24) on 09:25 UTC an earthquake with magnitude MW6.9 occurred in the NE Aegean Sea. The EMSC reports a depth of 27 km (USGS: 10 km). The quake had a (right-lateral) strike-slip mechanism and was felt as far away as Athens, Istanbul, and Sofia. More than 200 people were injured, most of them only lightly, and moderate damage to dozens of houses has been reported. The earthquake occurred on the (S)Western part of the North Anatolian Fault in the Samos Basin and was among the strongest events that have ever been recorded at that segment. more
The Sea Level Research laboratory in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Rhode Island is looking to recruit a PhD student to work on an NSF funded project focused on paleoseismology of the Cascadia subduction zone.
The project involves collaboration with Rutgers University, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and the United States Geological Survey. The position can start as early as September 1st 2014. more
An interesting new project aims on a better understanding of ancient earthquakes in Europe. ArMedEa – Archaeology of the Medieval Earthquakes in Europe (1000-1550 AD) is dedicated to increase our knowledge of medieval seismic events. The 2-years project based at Durham University will focus on archaeological information on quakes, tsunamis and earthquake-induced mass movements. ArMedEa is run by Paolo Forlin (supervised by Chris Gerrard and Dave Petley). The project has just started and already has its own blog. more
Two articles dealing with induced (or triggered?) seismicity caught my attention last week. Time came up with a report about “The Seismic Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes“. New studies on that topic had been presented at the SSA annual meeting in Alaska. Basically it’s now possible to link two phenomena: a) The huge increase in shale gas and oil development in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Kansas during the last few years; and b) the huge increase in earthquake activity in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Kansas during the last few years. more