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  • Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity

    In a recent post on this forum, Angela Landgraf shared a digest of the long and winding road having led to the publication of Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. Reading this post in the midst of wrapping up the edition of our Minoan Earthquakes volume, I could only sympathize with her concerns and hopes for the future of edited books at a time when impact factors and other author-level metrics all too often dictate academic choices.

    Four years and a half (!) after the Out of Rubble Leuven workshop (29-30 November 2012), we are proud to announce the publication of Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity at Leuven University Press. Reasons for such delay are manifold but chief among them is our editorial choice of producing a coherent volume that might be used as an up-to-date toolbox for readers interested in the broader field of archaeoseismology – not just Minoan archaeoseismology – and its (necessary) relationship to other, better established, disciplines. This choice is reflected by the structure of the book and breadth of topics covered by its authors, ranging from seismology, paleoseismology, geophysics, architecture, engineering and, of course, Minoan archaeology. Although we will ultimately leave readers to judge how successful we were in this endeavor, we are encouraged by Iain Stewart’s appreciation of the volume:

    The impressive breadth and depth of this volume is testimony to how far the field has progressed in the past two decades. This volume deserves to be read widely by earthquake scientists and archaeologists, for the significance of its messages extends far beyond the Minoan arena.

    We would like to take the opportunity of this post to thank again our panel of authors and reviewers for their trust, patience, and hard work – this project would never have been completed without their expertise and dedication. We are also grateful to the editorial team at Leuven University Press for skillfully shepherding this book to publication. Although we would have liked to see this volume appear much earlier, we believe (hope) the result was worth the wait.

    The book can be purchased directly from Leuven University Press.


    Table of contents:

    List of key abbreviations and definitions

    Chronological table


    Part 1: Introduction and theoretical background

    Chapter 1

    ‘In bulls doth the Earth-Shaker delight’ – Introduction to the volume (Jan Driessen)

    Chapter 2

    Seismological issues of concern for archaeoseismology (Susan E. Hough)

    Chapter 3

    Palaeoseismology (James P. McCalpin)

    Chapter 4

    Archaeoseismology (Manuel Sintubin)

    Chapter 5

    Non-invasive techniques in archaeoseismology (Christoph Grützner & Thomas Wiatr)


    Part 2: Geological and seismotectonic context

    Chapter 6

    The geological setting of Crete: an overview (Charalampos Fassoulas)

    Chapter 7

    Earthquake sources and seismotectonics in the area of Crete (Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos)

    Chapter 8

    The palaeoseismological study of capable faults on Crete (Jack Mason & Klaus Reicherter)


    Part 3: Minoan archaeoseismology

     Chapter 9

    Archaeoseismological research on Minoan Crete: past and present (Simon Jusseret)

    Chapter 10

    An architectural style of openness and mutability as stimulus for the development of an earthquake-resistant building technology at Akrotiri, Thera, and Minoan Crete (Clairy Palyvou)

    Chapter 11

    Minoan structural systems: earthquake-resistant characteristics. The role of timber (Eleftheria Tsakanika)


    Part 4: Case studies

    Chapter 12

    Evidence for three earthquakes at Mochlos in the Neopalatial period, c. 1700-1430 BC (Jeffrey S. Soles, Floyd W. McCoy & Rhonda Suka)

     Chapter 13

    Punctuation in palatial prehistory: earthquakes as the stratigraphical markers of the 18th-15th centuries BC in central Crete (Colin F. Macdonald)

    Chapter 14

    Man the measure: earthquakes as depositional agents in Minoan Crete (Tim Cunningham)


    Part 5: Critical appraisal and conclusion

     Chapter 15

    Earthquakes and Minoan Crete: breaking the myth through interdisciplinarity (Simon Jusseret & Manuel Sintubin)


    About the authors

    About the editors



  • The Great Wenchuan Earthquake eight years on: earthquake damage and coseismic landslides

    Last October I was given the chance to attend the “iRALL school on field data collection, monitoring, and modeling of large landslides” in Chengdu, China. During the school, we spent one week in the epicentral area of the Ms=8.0 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, where I was able to take some interesting pictures of earthquake damage and coseismic landslides. Then other things happened, like the earthquakes in Italy and New Zealand, with exciting sights from the field shared here, and I never ended up sharing my Wenchuan pics, which I want to do now. more

  • Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions


    It’s a book!

    Sometimes, things need time to evolve. And when they finally arrive, all laborious work and cumulated frustration is almost immediately forgotten in a flash of joy, a little bit of pride, and a lot of relief. What sounds pretty pathetic here is a summary of the process that lead to the recent Geological Society of London Special Publication 432: Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. While we will mostly advertise the volume, which should be of broad interest to the Paleoseismicity community (so please buy it, like it, share it!), we would also like to share some thoughts about why four years passed between submission of the volume proposal at the end of 2012 to seeing the book finally in the shelf at the beginning of 2017. more

  • New report by ISPRA et al. on field evidence of on-fault effects due to the Amatrice earthquake

    Lead by ISPRA, scientists from Italy, UK, and Norway have conducted field surveys and remote sensing to analyse the earthquake environmental effects of the 24 August, 2016, Amatrice Earthquake. The team has produced a 31-pages report that covers mainly field work results and INSAR data on ground deformation. Great photos of the surface ruptures! more

  • New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (Sep 2016)

    Today’s paper round-up has lots of tsunami papers, including one on the use of DNA to decipher paleo-tsunami deposits. Also, we have some papers about Italy, even from the area of the 24 August Amatrice earthquake. Enjoy reading and please don’t hesitate to tell me which papers I’ve missed.


  • 1st German ShakeOut in Aachen!

    Tomorrow, 18th June 2015, we – many voluntary student helpers and staff from RWTH Aachen University and the Geoverbund ABC-J are organizing with the Einhard-Gymnasium in Aachen, with 11-14 year old pupils the FIRST German Shake Out around midday. In special lectures and lab courses we have prepared the scholars for this event, but WHAT?? is a ShakeOut?


  • 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! more

  • Deform2015 Thematic School: Twitter roundup

    The Deform 2015 school is over, long live the Deform Community! Read what some of the digital geoscientists have been tweeting during the past week. They have take away messages for you even if you couldn’t make it!


  • New Special Issue on Paleotsunamis in Annals of Geomorphology

    Annals of Geomorphology has now published a new volume on Paleotsunamis in its Supplementary Issues. Issue 57 (4) is all about Reconstructing and modeling palaeotsunami events by multi-proxy geoscientific analyses. The volume is an outcome of the 2011 Corinth conference and edited by Andreas Vött, Klaus Reicherter and Ioannis Papanikolaou. I especially like it not only because I’ve organized the conference, but also because I am familiar with some of the study sites. Finally, I am co-author of the last paper. more

  • Geology of Shoes – Shoes of Geology

    If you are looking for a last minute Christmas present, these shoes might not be the right choice. Also, I am not exactly sure if it’s too nerdy, but the idea is great and the shoes are beautiful. Think about customized shoes with the geological map of your home area…  more


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