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
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
It’s not been long since I’ve listed some recent paleoseismology papers, but it seems like it’s publishing season. So here is more stuff to read during the holidays… more
Good news for students interested in a PhD on tectonics in New Zealand: John Townend announced that several scholarships are available. Deadline for application is 1 July 2014.
PhD students are sought to work on several seismological and geophysical topics within the Institute of Geophysics, School of Geography, Environment, and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). The geophysics group at Victoria University of Wellington has an established track record of research in seismology, tectonics, crustal geophysics, and structural geology. In the most recent Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) evaluation, Victoria University of Wellington was ranked first in New Zealand for research excellence and was also ranked first in New Zealand in Earth Sciences. 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
On 4 April, 2010, the El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake occurred in NW Baja California, Mexico. It was magnitude 7.2 strike-slip event, and the (surface) ruptures were distributed over a set of faults in the area, among them the Laguna Salada Fault. The epicentral area was under surveillance by a technique similar to DInSAR – Uninhabited Aerial
Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR). Comparison of images from before and after the M7.2 earthquake revealed that slip occurred not only in the epicentral area and at the Laguna Salada Fault, but also on faults to the north. These findings were recently published by Donnellan et al. (2014). more
The SSA2014 annual meeting took place in Anchorage, Alaska from 29 April – 2 May. Currently the post-meeting excursion on the effects of the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 is taking place, and we placed our paleoseismicity-spy Gösta Hoffmann in the group. We hope that no one realizes that he’s a desert geologist and absolutely in the wrong place, but he promised to not wear his Teva sandals in order not be identified. Gösta is Associate Professor at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and works on coastal change and tsunamis, and particularly on tsunamis in the Arabian Sea. Here is his report from Alaska: more
The San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) was one of the most ambitious (and expensive) experiments in the history of active fault research. A borehole was drilled through the San Andreas Fault, 3.2 km deep and 1.8 km in horizontal direction. The borehole was equipped with a number of instruments in order to get data from right where the earthquakes occur, but most of the instruments failed already in 2008 due to the extreme conditions. While analyses of the drill core resulted in some great scientific achievements and enhanced our understanding of fault zones, almost no one seems to have much interest in the in-situ instruments. Or let’s say, no one can pay the necessary amount for re-equipping the hole, millions of dollars… more
During the month of March 2014, Sascha and I along with Tobi and Lauretta (BSc students from RWTH University) were in Greece for fieldwork. The fieldwork campaign started on the island of Crete; our institute at RWTH Aachen has a joint project with Mainz University to carry out paleotsunami investigations on the island. The western part of Crete was uplifted by approximately 9 m during the 21st July AD 365 earthquake and also hit by the associated tsunami. Due to the strong seismic and highly tsunamigenic activity of the nearby Hellenic Trench, it is suggested that numerous earlier tsunamis have also struck the island. more