First paper on the earthquake environmental effects of the 2014 Cephalonia (Greece) M6.0 quakes

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. Continue reading “First paper on the earthquake environmental effects of the 2014 Cephalonia (Greece) M6.0 quakes”

A Mw6.9 earthquake in the Aegean Sea

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. Continue reading “A Mw6.9 earthquake in the Aegean Sea”

The 2010 M7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake caused slip on other faults in California, too!

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). Continue reading “The 2010 M7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake caused slip on other faults in California, too!”

A paleoseismicity-spy and desert geologist in Alaska

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: Continue reading “A paleoseismicity-spy and desert geologist in Alaska”

The end of the Quake Observatory? NSF might stop funding for SAFOD

San Andreas Fault

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…  Continue reading “The end of the Quake Observatory? NSF might stop funding for SAFOD”

Crete and mainland Greece Fieldwork, March 2014

Uplifted algal rims at Sougia.

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. Continue reading “Crete and mainland Greece Fieldwork, March 2014”

New papers on lacustrine turbidites, coseismic landslides in NZ, active faults in Iran, and paleoseismology in Ecuador

Old books

I came across several interesting papers on paleoseismology and related disciplines, most of them published recently. They deal with “classical” paleoseismology, with earthquake environmental effects like coseismic landslides and tsunamis, and also with geomorphological indicators for active faulting. Let me know if I missed some! Continue reading “New papers on lacustrine turbidites, coseismic landslides in NZ, active faults in Iran, and paleoseismology in Ecuador”

Late Holocene rupture history of the Ventas de Zafarraya Fault in Southern Spain

My latest paper deals with the Holocene activity of the Ventas de Zafarraya Fault in Southern Spain. It was published some days ago in the most recent issue of Cuaternario y Geomorfología. The Ventas de Zafarraya Fault (VZF) west of the Granada basin (36.96° N, 4.14°W) has a beautiful morphologic expression and an exciting history. The fault bounds the Zafarraya polje to the south, with Quaternary sediments to the north (hanging wall) and limestones of the Internal Subbetics in the footwall (Fig. 1). Continue reading “Late Holocene rupture history of the Ventas de Zafarraya Fault in Southern Spain”

The Iberfault 2014 meeting – 2nd Iberian meeting on Active Faults and Paleoseismology, 22-24 October, Lorca, Spain

After the 1st Iberfault meeting in 2010, the 2nd meeting will take place in Lorca, Spain from 22-24 October, 2014. Any research on active tectonics and paleoseismology in Iberia is welcome, a special focus will be set on the QUAFI database. The conference will be organized by José Martinez Díaz (UCM), Eulàlia Masana (UB) and Miguel A. Rodríguez (IGME). Lorca became famous in 2011 when a shallow MW5.1 earthquake killed 9 people and caused severe damages in the city (there is an ongoing discussion whether or not groundwater lowering for irrigation during the last decades has caused, triggered, or influenced the quake).

Continue reading “The Iberfault 2014 meeting – 2nd Iberian meeting on Active Faults and Paleoseismology, 22-24 October, Lorca, Spain”