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 The article features reproductions of unpublished archival documents held by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (Nicosia).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 latest issue of the Seismological Review Letters (SRL) contains some interesting papers on strong earthquakes, seismicity, and tsunamis. Here’s a list of papers that could be especially interesting for the paleoseismicity community: more
A new story came up recently that sounds like the L’Aquila case, but the other way round. Dr. Roger Bilham from the University of Colorado, a well-known earthquake researcher, was denied entry to India earlier this year. He was on a flight to Bhutan and supposed to change planes in New Delhi when Indian officials sent him back to the plane he just arrived on. Officially, he was accused with having the wrong type of visa. Himself and many colleagues, however, are sure that he was deported because he stated that the seismic hazard in India is underestimated. more
December 12, 2012 | in Paper
A new paper was just published on Active faulting in the north-eastern Aegean Sea Islands. Our colleague Alex Chatzipetros and his co-authors investigated the distribution of seismicity and faulting pattern at the islands of Lemnos, Aghios Efstratios, Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria. From this data and field analyses they concluded on the effects of active faulting on the local geomorphology. more
So many things are said to cause earthquakes, things have become a little complex during the last years. For many people it might be hard to remember all of them and you will probably ask yourself “What can I do to avoid finding myself having caused a seismic event by accident?” Here’s help. I prepared a list with no claim to completeness of things that might cause earthquakes. Some are already well-known, some were suprising to me. Recently, chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s against equal taxation for gay and straight couples. I guess this can only be interpretetd as an attempt to minimize seismic hazard in Germany, everything else would be ridiculous…
What’s your favorite? What’s missing? more
November 15, 2012 | in Paper
A new paper on the archaeoseismology of Athens, Greece, was published in the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering by AMraseys and Psycharis. The authors investigated two classical columns at the Akropolis which survived since classical times and modelled the behaviour of the structures under dynamic (seismic) load. They explain observed damages at the columns and also estimate maximum ground movement that would have toppled the columns. It looks like Old Athens has been relatively lucky in terms of earthquakes in the past, despite it is surrounded by active faults… more
November 7, 2012 | in Paper
Several new papers were recently published in the fields of tsunami research, tectonics, and liquefaction. Also, a new book on active faults is available. Let’s have a look what can be added to your book shelf or to your Christmas wish list: more
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
October 31, 2012 | in Paper
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) has just published a new issue with lots of papers on marine and lake paleoseismology. So enough stuff for a good read on a cold and rainy autumn evening. The Special issue was edited by Daniela Pantosti, Eulàlia Gràcia, Geoffroy Lamarche, and Hans Nelson, and is an outcome of the European Science Foundation Research Conference: Submarine Paleoseismology – The Offshore Search of Large Holocene Earthquakes; Obergurgl, Austria, 11-16 September 2010. All articles are availabe for free download! Open access rules! more
October 29, 2012 | in Paper
Let’s see, this is my 1st post here, thanks again for the invitation. Today, an interesting story circulated through mass and science media. The article by Kremer et al. published yesterday in Nature Geoscience presents geophysical and sedimentological evidence of potential tsunamis in the rather exotic environment of Lake Geneva. This phenomenon is not new at all and has been investigated by others before, but I pretty much share the authors conclusion, that the hazard of tsunami-like events in continental lakes deserves higher attention in the future.