What’s up? The Friday links (53)

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are one of the most important tools in geosciences and can be helpful in almost every discipline. They are widely used not only in academia, but also in industry and administration. Obviously, it’s a good idea to know how to use these softwares. There are dozens, if not hundreds of different GIS versions available, but only few of them are freeware, like QGIS. Our colleague Riccardo Klinger from Digital Geography started a crowdsourcing initiative to get money for creating a free online video tutorial for everyone who wants to learn QGIS. If you like this idea, support him here at startnext.de. Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (53)”

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. Continue reading “Earthquake prediction – some thoughts and four interviews”

What’s up? The Friday links (47)

The German research vessel R/V Polarstern is an ice-breaking mega laboratory and the heart of the German arctic and antarctic research. It is maintained by the AWI Bremerhaven (Alfred Wegener Institut for Polar and Marine Research). When I studied Geophysics at Leipzig University, I had to chance to visit this great ship during an excursion. Now the Polarstern is on her way for the Antarctic again, and this time the ship and the crew will spend the winter down far south for the very first time. Follow their campaign via the AWI blog or the GEO blog.

Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (47)”

What’s up? The Friday links (46)

For me the most important geo news this week was the court decision on the L’Aquila trial on Monday. A local court sentenced six scientists and one official for manslaughter to six years in prison – 2 years more than claimed by the prosecutor. Even though the scientists may not have found the best words to describe the earthquake hazard in L’Aquila, the decision is ridiculous in my opinion and caused an outcry throughout the scientific community. Especially the consequences for any risk assessment and public information might be fatal. I am really concerned. In the following I link to some blog posts that I found particularly interesting:

Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (46)”

New paper on archeoseismological investigations in Cologne, Germany

A new paper has been published online first by Hinzen et al. on their archeoseismological study in Cologne, Germany. During recent archeological excavations, a number of damaged structures from Roman to Medieval times have been discovered and described among them a synagoge, the Praetorium, and a Roman well. Since damaging historical earthquakes are documented for the Lower Rhine Embayment, seismic shaking was a good guess to have caused the observed damage. Continue reading “New paper on archeoseismological investigations in Cologne, Germany”

What’s up? The Friday links (38)

Annals of Geophysics (former Annali di Geofisica) published a special volume “Geoethics and geological culture. Reflections from the Geoitalia Conference 2011“. This is pretty interesting for us bloggers, topics include:

  • Geoethics and geological culture: methods, goals and values able to influence society
  • Geoethical implications in risks and geo-resources management
  • Communication and education related to geosciences in a geoethical perspective
  • Geoheritage and geodiversity as values for sustainability

Even more interesting for me is a special issue yet to come: “The Emilia seismic sequence of May-June, 2012: preliminary data and results”. Paper submission deadline: July 22, 2012.  Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (38)”

What’s up? The Friday links (36)

Today is GeoScience Day (Geotag) at RWTH Aachen University! Organized by the Chair of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, this event will start at 9:30 am in the Couvenhalle, Aachen. Geoscience-related talks and a poster exhibition will only be some parts of the very interesting program. The Geo summer party will be started after the “Geotag” at 6:00 pm at the parking lot of the Geoscience Institute at Wüllnerstraße. Come and see! Follow the Geotag on Twitter (hashtag #GEOTAG) and Facebook, and visit the official website! Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (36)”

Finale Emilia earthquake: preliminary report on Earthquake Environmental Effects (EEEs)

The University Insubria (Como, Italy) has published the first report on the earthquake environmental effects that accompanied the Northern Italy “Finale Emilia Earthquake” of 20 May, 2012. On that day, a quake with magnitude Mw6.1 rocked the Po Plain, leaving seven people dead and hundreds of houses damaged. On 29 May, a very strong M5.8 aftershock occurred in the region. Continue reading “Finale Emilia earthquake: preliminary report on Earthquake Environmental Effects (EEEs)”