Almaty sits on a huge active fault, and here is why we know

Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan and home to ~2 million people, is a rapidly growing, vibrant city, beautifully situated at the foothills of the mighty Zailisky Alatau, the northernmost mountain range of the Tien Shan at this longitude. The city sits on a huge alluvial fan with the snow-capped mountains in the background, reaching 5,000 m elevation. Almaty has suffered from earthquakes in its young history: in 1887, the Verny earthquake with a magnitude of about 7.3 had its epicentre a few kilometres west of the city but did not produce surface ruptures (Verny is the old name of Almaty). Only two years later, the M8 Chilik earthquake ruptured the surface 100 km to the southeast of Almaty. Finally, Almaty was heavily damaged by the 1911 Chon Kemin earthquake with a magnitude of ~8, which occurred on the southern flank of the Zailisky Alatau. In our new paper we now report on a fault that did not rupture in historical times, but surely did so in the Holocene – and this fault is right beneath the city. Continue reading “Almaty sits on a huge active fault, and here is why we know”

Postdoctoral Research Assistant Position/ Upper plate deformation – Mexican subduction, available March 2017

The following open position might be of interest to the paleoseismology community:

“We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Assistant for a 12 month fixed term appointment working on the exciting new UNAM-CONACYT-funded project on “Spatial and Temporal Variations of Upper Plate Deformation across the Guerrero portion of the Mexican Subduction Zone” at the Institute of Geography and the Environmental Geophysics University Laboratory (LUGA), National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Campus Mexico City. The candidate will pursue fundamental and applied research into the assessment of both temporal and spatial vertical crustal deformation associated with both slow (interseismic) and rapid (coseismic) crustal deformation across the inner forearc region of the central Mexican subduction zone on the Guerrero sector, where the Cocos plate underthrusts the North American plate. The candidate will be responsible for the development and execution of laboratory and field research, conduct studies to develop a model of long-term deformation, writing reports and papers. Continue reading “Postdoctoral Research Assistant Position/ Upper plate deformation – Mexican subduction, available March 2017”

This was my field work on active faults in Kazakhstan 2015 (pt. II)

The first part of my report on the field work that I did in Kazakhstan this year focussed on the stuff we had done in the South. Here is part II which is all about the Dzhungarian Fault. You’ve never heard about this fault? That’s easily possible. There are only very few papers that deal with this fault. In the 1960s Soviet geologist V.S. Voytovich published results from extensive field work on this fault (Voytovich, 1965; 1969). 40-50 years later a few studies on geodesy and geodynamics covered the broader study area and Shen et al. (2003) did some work in the Chinese part of the fault, but it took until 2013 before Campbell et al. revisited the Kazakh side and came up with new field data. They focussed on the tectonic geomorphology of this structure and determined a slip rate. Given this little amount of research done one would assume that the fault is not very large and of minor importance, but the opposite is true. The fault is around 300 km long in its Kazakh section and probably twice as long in total! Continue reading “This was my field work on active faults in Kazakhstan 2015 (pt. II)”

This was the Fucino15 meeting – part II

I blogged about the scientific sessions at the Fucino15 meeting last week, here’s my report about the pre- and post-meeting field trips. The pre-meeting field trip was held in Rome, where we explored the archaeological and historical evidence for earthquake damage in the Eternal City. After the conference we followed the traces of the 1915 Fucino earthquake and then finally visited L’Aquila. This blog covers Rome and the geological field trips, a special on L’Aquila will follow later. Continue reading “This was the Fucino15 meeting – part II”

Tectonics from above – RAS discussion meeting

Last Friday the RAS held a discussion meeting on Tectonics from Above: Recent Advances in the Use of High-resolution Topography and Imagery in London. Almost the entire Cambridge Tectonics Group went there and I absolutely enjoyed the meeting and the discussion with friends and colleagues mainly from the UK and from France. The speakers reported on open-source software for producing high-res DEMs, advances in aerial and satellite imagery, new techniques in remote sensing, and latest developments in fault/offset mapping. The meeting was supported by NERC, COMET+ and LICS. Continue reading “Tectonics from above – RAS discussion meeting”

What’s up? The Friday links (60)

A long year ago, the last Friday links were published, a section I always liked and waited for during food coma or processing times. Christoph managed to find intriguing bits and pieces from the digital world of geosciences week after week. And now it’s me (and maybe with a little help from my friends), trying not only to follow-up but also to keep you updated and to keep the geoblogosphere interconnected. What a task! I’m already loving it.
Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (60)”

Deform2015, thematic school about crustal deformation and earthquakes

The Deform2015 school on Active Deformation, Faults and Earthquakes from Measurements to Models will be held in Southern France from 7-13 February, 2015.
Over the past years, considerable advances have been made in observing crustal deformation at scales of seconds to thousands of years.
However, a unified view of the earthquake cycle is still missing. The thematic school aims at bringing together students and scientists
working on different aspects of active faulting and earthquake processes. This school will provide a state-of-the-art view of the technics used to study active deformation as well as a perspective on the current models integrating the growing corpus of available data.

Continue reading “Deform2015, thematic school about crustal deformation and earthquakes”