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:
In September, Klaus and me lead a MSc student excursion to southwestern Germany. We not only went through the entire stratigraphy of that area (mainly Triassic and Jura), but also visited the salt mine in Stetten, quarries in Dotternhausen (opalinus clay, posidonia schist, Malm), the Kaiserstuhl carbonatite volcano complex and the Upper Rhine Graben area. One of my personal highlights was the Freudenstädter Graben, a small tectonic graben striking NW-SE, whose NE main fault is exposed in an old mine in Hallwangen. Continue reading “Inside a fault”
Nature published three articles on the Sumatra April 2012 mega-strike-slip earthquakes. I am pretty sure that at least one of them will be discussed intensely. Earlier this year, two earthquakes with magnitudes of M8.6 and M8.2, respectively, occurred in the Indian Ocean off Sumatra. The epicentres were close to the epicentral area of the 2004 Christmas event, but further to the SW and entirely on the Indo-Australian plate. This was surprising for many reasons: We did not expect such strong strike-slip quakes, we did not expect them to happen intraplate, and we were surprised by the complex en echelon and orthogonal fault pattern. Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (45)”
It’s holiday season, and many avid readers might need an advice on new books. Here’s one for the earthquake community: Primary Fault by Sharon Kae Reamer. The title reminds you of geology? This is no coincidence. The author reminds you of geology? Right! Sharon Kae Reamer is a seismologist, currently working at the seismological observatory of Cologne University. You probably know her work when you are into archaeoseismology, seismicity in Germany, or seismotectonics. Now she has published her first novel, and seismology does play a role. Continue reading “Primary Fault – Science meets fiction, geophysics meet fantasy”
On 11 April 2012, a Mw8.6 strike-slip earthquake occurred off Sumatra in a kind of intra-plate setting and came as a surprise to the earthquake community. Such a strong strike-slip event was not expected, we always thought that the huge thrust quakes at subduction zones were the only ones to release that much energy. Now a press release by CalTech reports on the latest studies that came to the result that many previously unknown perpendicular faults ruptured at this event. Immediately some journalists suggested that this might also happen at the San Andreas Fault. I do not know of any paleoseismological evidence that this has happened there before. However, how likely is this scenario?
A paleoseismological trench has been opened at San Carlo – Sant’Agostino. At this place, liquefaction features and other environmental earthquake effects were recognized after the Finale Emilia earthquake of 2 May 2012, magnitude MW6.1. The trench reveals normal fault features close to the surface. Our colleague Alex Chatzipetros from Earthquake Geology of Greece posted a great article on the trench work and has all the interesting photos. Continue reading “Paleoseismological trench at the Finale Emilia earthquake site”
The Journal of Iberian Geology has now published a Special Issue “Active Faults in Iberia“, with J.J. Martínez-Diaz, E. Masana, and M.A. Rodríguez-Pascua as guest editors: J Iber Geol, 38 (1), 201. This volume comprises a great collection of new data on active faults, paleoseismology, intraplate earthquakes, and seismic hazard. One article also introduces the Quaternary Active Faults Database of Iberia. And the best thing is – all articles are open access and available for download! Continue reading “Special Issue: Active Faults in Iberia (Journal of Iberian Geology)”
I hope you have reserved some time for reading – here comes plenty of great new material on one of the most interesting tectonic features on earth, the Dead Sea Transform. The Israel Journal of Earth Sciences has published a special issue: The Dead Sea Rift as a natural laboratory for neotectonics and paleoseismology, Volume 58, Number 3 – 4. The papers are an outcome of the 2009 INQUA joint Israel/Jordan fieldtrip with the same name. I was lucky enough to have participated in that field trip. It was for sure one of the best field trips I ever had. Continue reading “Israel Journal of Earth Sciences: special issue on the Dead Sea Rift”
Klaus and me went to the SSA 2012 annual meeting in San Diego in April. The conference was great and very focussed. I really like that kind of rather small meetings, where almost everything is interesting for me. I saw a lot of interesting posters and great talks and especially liked the paleoseismology and archeoseismology sessions (of course!).
The 3rd INQUA-IGCP 567 International Workshop on Active Tectonics, Paleoseismology and Archeoseismology will be held in Morelia (Mexico) from 18 – 24 November 2012. The workshop is the continuation of the BaeloClaudia2009 and Corinth2011 events. We invite all scientists in the fields of earthquake geology, paleoseismology, archeoseismology, tsunami studies, earthquake engineering, seismic hazard assessment to participate in the workshop. We will try to provide travel grants from INQUA and IGCP for young scientists. See Acambay1912.org for detailled information, registration and abstract submission.