PATA Days in Thessaloniki, Greece, 25-30 June 2018 – save the date!

Dear friends and colleagues,

The PATA Days will return to Europe next year! Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Thessaloniki Earthquakes, the meeting will be held in Greece from 25-30 June, 2018. Save the dates! Spyros Pavlides and Alex Chatzipetros will organize the scientific sessions from 25-27 June, and a summer school is planned for 28-30 June. After visiting the active faults of the US (2016) and New Zealand (2017), we will see some great sites in northern Greece. In 2019, Israel will host the PATA Days in the Middle East for the first time (Plate boundary!! Archaeoseismology!), and after that we plan to explore what active tectonics do look like in Argentina and Chile in 2020 (Huge thrusts!). More information and a 1st circular will follow very soon. See you all in Greece in June, γεια μας!

Papers on harbours & archaeoseismology in the Med

While compiling the monthly paper round-up, I will of course miss some publications. This may be because I was in the field when the papers were published, because I don’t have an alert for the journals, or because my alerts didn’t include the right key words. For example, I missed a couple of 2017 papers by our colleagues from Mainz: Continue reading “Papers on harbours & archaeoseismology in the Med”

Preliminary report on the 12 June, 2017, Lesvos (Greece) Earthquake

On 12 June, 2017, an earthquake with a magnitude of Mw6.3 occurred south of the island of Lesvos in Greece, damaged hundreds of buildings and claimed one life. The event ruptured a NW-SE trending normal fault and had a focal depth of 13 km. Our colleagues from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens mapped the earthquake damage and the environmental effects that accompanied the earthquake. They found mass movements, secondary cracks, and report on a small tsunami. Their report can be downloaded here (PDF, 6 mb). For a higher-resolution file (33 mb), follow this link. Many thanks to Efthymios Lekkas for sending the report. Continue reading “Preliminary report on the 12 June, 2017, Lesvos (Greece) Earthquake”

Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity

In a recent post on this forum, Angela Landgraf shared a digest of the long and winding road having led to the publication of Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions. Reading this post in the midst of wrapping up the edition of our Minoan Earthquakes volume, I could only sympathize with her concerns and hopes for the future of edited books at a time when impact factors and other author-level metrics all too often dictate academic choices.

Four years and a half (!) after the Out of Rubble Leuven workshop (29-30 November 2012), we are proud to announce the publication of Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity at Leuven University Press. Reasons for such delay are manifold but chief among them is our editorial choice of producing a coherent volume that might be used as an up-to-date toolbox for readers interested in the broader field of archaeoseismology – not just Minoan archaeoseismology – and its (necessary) relationship to other, better established, disciplines. This choice is reflected by the structure of the book and breadth of topics covered by its authors, ranging from seismology, paleoseismology, geophysics, architecture, engineering and, of course, Minoan archaeology. Although we will ultimately leave readers to judge how successful we were in this endeavor, we are encouraged by Iain Stewart’s appreciation of the volume: Continue reading “Minoan Earthquakes: Breaking the Myth through Interdisciplinarity”

Guest blog by Sascha Schneiderwind (RWTH Aachen University): Multiparametric trenching investigations

[Update 15 February 2017: Since Sascha is an author here now, the post was attributed to him.]
Greece is one of the main targets of RWTH Aachen’s Neotectonics & Geohazards group. They worked on paleo-tsunamis, active faults on the Peloponnese, in Attica, and on Crete, and on the application of terrestrial LiDAR and shallow geophysics for active tectonics research. In their latest paper, Sascha Schneiderwind et al. developed a methodology to aid paleoseismic trenching studies. They use t-LiDAR and georadar to better and more objectively characterise lithological units. His paper includes nice examples from Crete and from the famous Kaparelli Fault. Here is his guest blog: Continue reading “Guest blog by Sascha Schneiderwind (RWTH Aachen University): Multiparametric trenching investigations”

New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (Feb 2016)

Here’s the February edition of my paper recommendations. This time we have:

  • Paleoseismology in Germany and Nepal (the latter with a focus on charcoal dating techniques),
  • Tsunamis in Greece, Portugal, Israel and Alaska,
  • Turbidites in Portugal,
  • New insights into the geodynamics of Mozambique,
  • Fault rheology in Iran,
  • Rupture jumps on strike‐slip faults, and
  • A MATLAB tool for seismic hazard calculations.


Continue reading “New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (Feb 2016)”

New data on the 17 Nov, 2015, M6.4 South Lefkada earthquake

Our colleague Efthymios Lekkas kindly uploaded a new report on the recent South Lefkada Earthquake. If you can read Greek, have a look at this website: Alternatively, you can download the slideshow from his personal website here as a PDF:

The PDF contains info on the tectonic setting, historical and instrumental seismicity, followed by a collection of the earthquake (environmental) effects. Continue reading “New data on the 17 Nov, 2015, M6.4 South Lefkada earthquake”

A preliminary report on the 17 Nov, 2015, M6.4 South Lefkada earthquake, Ionian Sea, Greece

On 17 November, 2015, a MW6.4 strike-slip earthquake occurred in Lefkada Island, Greece. Lefkada is close to the Cephalonia Transform Fault and has repeatedly experienced strong shaking in the past. The most recent event caused two fatalitites, some damage, and resulted in widespread environmental earthquake effects (EEE). A team of scientists visited the epicentral area after the quake and recorded the damage and the EEEs. They wrote a preliminary report, which can be downloaded here: Lefkada 17 Nov 2015 earthquake report (PDF, 3.9MB).

They document mass movements, damage to buildings, and present first data from seismology, GPS and satellite geodesy.

Thanks to George for sending us the report!


New Paper: Paleoseismology & active tectonics in Greece, and how seismic hazard zonation fails

We published a new study dealing with paleoseismological work on the Milesi Fault near Athens, Greece. A slip rate was estimated based on GIS work, mapping, and trenching. Four surface-rupturing earthquakes in the last 4-6 ka were found, and we estimate magnitudes of around M6.2. With these input parameters, we developed a seismic hazard scenario that also takes into account site effects. Our results show that the official seismic hazard zonation in Greece, which is based on instrumental and historical records, contradicts geological data. We also show that extension in this region is not only confined to the Southern Evoikos Gulf graben system, but a significant amount of extension is accommodated by active faults closer to Athens. Continue reading “New Paper: Paleoseismology & active tectonics in Greece, and how seismic hazard zonation fails”

EEEs of today’s Mw6.5 earthquake in Greece

A shallow Mw6.5 earthquake hit western Greece today in the morning. The quake had a right-lateral strike-slip mechanism and occurred at the Cephalonia transform, offshore Levkada. Two people died and some damage to buildings was reported. The event caused environmental earthquake effects (EEEs), namely widespread rockfalls that produced an amazing dust cloud. The blog North Ithaca has some great pictures of collapsed walls, damage to buildings and the dust cloud.

Continue reading “EEEs of today’s Mw6.5 earthquake in Greece”