Posts in the category »  Earthquake «  ( 116 Posts )

  • M6.3 earthquake rocks southwestern Iran, felt in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Bahrain

    Update: Read the article of The Times of Oman here!

    Today at 11:52:50 UTC a magnitude 6.3 earthquake occurred in SW Iran close to the shore in a depth of 10 km. The event was widely felt in Iran and across the NE Arabian Peninsula. Moment tensor solution reveal a thrust mechanism, which is in perfect concordance with the historic seismicity pattern. The event was caused by the convergence of the Arabian and Eurasian plates, that not only built up the impressive Zagros Mountains, but also lead to the formation of the Makran Subduction Zone. Relative plate motions there are as fast as 20 mm/yr in the central part. more

  • 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. more

  • Miners in Poland rescued after M4.6 earthquake caused tunnel collapse

    Did you think there was no earthquake hazard in Central Europe? Don’t worry unless you live in Italy, Greece, or Turkey? Wrong! There’s significant hazard not only in W Germany, S Spain and on the Balkan Peninsula – take into account mining induced events, too…

    An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 occurred in SW Poland last night in very shallow depth. 19 copper miners were trapped inside the mine for hours after a tunnel collapsed and communication was cut. All miners were rescued, one suffered minor injuries.

    The area is known as the Lubin mining area (coal and copper) and one of the hot spots in Central Europe’s seismicity. more

  • Earthquakes and dust clouds

    Today’s post of the Landslide Blog about a rockfall caused by a volcanic earthquake reminds me about something that’s in my mind for years already. Could we use dust deposits as a paleoseismological archive? Dust clouds of all sizes, ranging from tiny to huge, can be associated with seismic shaking, especially in arid and mountainous regions. Here I have collected a few videos I found on YouTube. When large amounts of dust settle they should form a distinctive layer recognizable in the sedimentary record, comparable to volcanic ash deposits. Of course they will be harder to be identified, since the material is the local one. I guess this could be done, similar to turbidites in marine paleoseismology. There are papers that describe changes in the aerosol content in the atmosphere after earthquakes, so why not look for them on earth? more

  • Small tsunami hits Solomon coast – M8 earthquake and fifty aftershocks

    In the last twelve hours, a series of major earthquakes struck the Santa Cruz Islands. Beginning with the activation of a thrust fault with a M8.0 (M7.9) earthquake, almost fifty aftershocks hit the region. A regional tsunami warning was released short six minutes after the first quake at 1:12 UTC and has now been cancelled.

    more

  • Earthquakes in Austria/Slovenia and Japan

    On 2 Februar, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake occurred in shallow depth (~2-7 km) directly at the border between Austria and Slovenia. USGS reports an oblique-slip focal mechanism and a magnitude of Mw4.0 only. According to the Austrian Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik the quake was felt widely and even in Vienna. Very light damage has been reported from the epicentral area. more

  • Earthquakes and Late Bronze Age collapse: the end of an old myth?

    The collapse of Bronze Age civilizations c.1200 BC remains a persistent riddle in Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. Earthquakes, attacks of the Sea Peoples, climatic deterioration, and socio-political unrest are among the most frequently suggested causes for this phenomenon. In the last issue of Seismological Research Letters (January/February 2013), Manuel Sintubin and myself attempt to retrace the origins of the idea according to which earthquakes may have caused the demise of Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean societies. The article features reproductions of unpublished archival documents held by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (Nicosia). The free-access version of the paper can be found here. Happy reading!

     

  • The 10 strongest earthquakes 2012

    Last year we’ve seen some surprising seismic events. Do you remember the two strange events of M8.6 and M8.2 off Sumatra? We didn’t even know that such strong strike-slip events were possible, and those two earthquakes ruptured in a weird rectangular pattern AND occured within few minutes of each other. Do you remember the third most powerful EQ that rattled the Okhotsk Sea? No? Well, I think it’s a good idea to have a look at the strongest events that happened last year.  more

  • Earthquake prediction – some thoughts and four interviews

    Since the L’Aquila trial has caused a lot of attention and an outcry of the scientific community, topics like earthquake prediction and earthquake forecasting are widely discussed in blogs and media. Often enough, people that claim to be scientists pretend they could predict earthquakes. These pseudo-predictions are based either on measuring geophysical phenomena (like temperature, gas emissions, electromagnetic fields, light phenomena, sun-moon-earth tidal forces and interactions etc.), animal behaviour (toads, snakes, dogs etc.) or even crazier things (horoscopes, blasphemy, earthquake weapons…). None of these “methods” works. Earthquake prediction is currently not possible. more

  • Catch 22

    In the wake of the verdict in the L’Aquila earthquake trial big words were not spared. Is this a “battle between science and politics”? Is the decision taken “more reminiscent of Dark Ages magical thinking than modern scientific understanding”? Is this trial “likened to persecution of Galileo”? In reaction to the verdict, a common tendency in the earth science and risk community seems to move towards a ‘withdrawal’ from our commitment to society. But is this the right thing to do?

    This short-sighted verdict may indeed very well alienate society’s strongest ally when it comes to safeguarding society against potential dramatic consequences of earthquakes. But is society helped when scientists systematically overexaggerate the potential hazard to cover themselves against possible legal consequences? Such attitude would completely erode the credibility of science. And when a hazard becomes really serious, society will turn a deaf ear to the advice of the scientists. Society isn’t helped either when scientists withdraw in their academic ‘ivory towers’ and completely ignore their societal role. This would only give ‘charlatans’ carte blanche to preach doom.

    Eventually, scientists do not have a choice! Scientists have to stick to their responsibility towards society. In risk communication they will have to be as clear and honest as possible, but without devaluing the nuance inherent to science. Scientists have to keep confronting authorities that run away from their responsibilities. And scientists will have to keep investing in an ‘informed citizenry’, to provide them all necessary tools to become aware and resilient with respect to the inevitable earthquake. But at the end, scientists should be able to say and write freely and unconditionally wherever their science leads them!

     

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