A new paper in Tectonophysics deals with the use of terrestrial LiDAR for identifying the slip vectors on fault planes. Thomas Wiatr, Klaus Reicherter, Ioannis Papanikolaou, Tomás Fernandez-Steeger and Jack Mason collected and processed data from Crete island (Greece), where they scanned the scarp of the Spili Fault. They imaged numerous kinematic (slip direction) indicators like slickensides with this relatively new technique. The t-LiDAR data were then compared to traditional compass measurements in order to get an idea about the derivation betwen old-school measurements and high-tech methods. more
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August 7, 2013 | in Paper
Today we went for field work again – mapping active faults in Northern Attica, trying to find out about offsets and slip rates, and scouting sites for applying Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) later. We found some very beautiful fault scarps and measured a good number of strike and dip values. At two locations we also recorded topographic profiles across the scarps in order to get an idea about the vertical offset. Combined with the assumption that these scarps are post-glacial, we can estimate slip rates. more
The RealClimate blog network published two long articles on the state of the art of sea level rise estimations. Part 1 was written by Stefan Rahmstorf on 9 Jan, part 2 was posted today. What will we need to prepare for until the end of the century? more
The collapse of Bronze Age civilizations c.1200 BC remains a persistent riddle in Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. Earthquakes, attacks of the Sea Peoples, climatic deterioration, and socio-political unrest are among the most frequently suggested causes for this phenomenon. In the last issue of Seismological Research Letters (January/February 2013), Manuel Sintubin and myself attempt to retrace the origins of the idea according to which earthquakes may have caused the demise of Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean societies. The article features reproductions of unpublished archival documents held by the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (Nicosia). The free-access version of the paper can be found here. Happy reading!
December 12, 2012 | in Paper
A new paper was just published on Active faulting in the north-eastern Aegean Sea Islands. Our colleague Alex Chatzipetros and his co-authors investigated the distribution of seismicity and faulting pattern at the islands of Lemnos, Aghios Efstratios, Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Ikaria. From this data and field analyses they concluded on the effects of active faulting on the local geomorphology. more
November 15, 2012 | in Paper
A new paper on the archaeoseismology of Athens, Greece, was published in the Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering by AMraseys and Psycharis. The authors investigated two classical columns at the Akropolis which survived since classical times and modelled the behaviour of the structures under dynamic (seismic) load. They explain observed damages at the columns and also estimate maximum ground movement that would have toppled the columns. It looks like Old Athens has been relatively lucky in terms of earthquakes in the past, despite it is surrounded by active faults… more
The Sparta Fault in Greece is marked by one of the most impressive mountain fronts I’ve ever seen. A huge (yes, huge!) fault scarp has developed, traceable for kilometers; the fault itself is more than 60 km long. Ancient Sparta has been devastated by the last known major (M>7) earthquake that happened at this fault in 464 BC. Now, Papanikolaou et al. have published new data on this fault. They examined how paramaters like throw, segmentation, and catchments vary along strike and created a new seismic hazard map, showing a site-specific long-term recurrence interval of ~1.8 ka (+/- 450 a). more
August 1, 2012 | in Paper
Currently I spend my time working on some papers that deal with tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean and earthquakes in Spain. Searching for literature and looking for data on the Minoan catastrophe I came across this new open access publication by Simon Jusseret and Manuel Sintubin:
- All That Rubble Leads to Trouble: Reassessing the Seismological Value of Archaeological Destruction Layers in Minoan Crete and Beyond. Seismological Research Letters, 83, 4, 736-742, doi:10.1785/0220120011.
Our colleagues from IGCP567 – Earthquake Archaeology put a lot of effort into getting rid of catastrophism and into making archeoseismology a more reliable, quantitative science. By the way, don’t miss the next workshop on archeoseismology and active tectonics in Mexico 2012! more
June 7, 2012 | in The Friday Links
One of the best blog articles I recently read deals with the problems scientists face when they are interested in public outreach. Scicurious perfectly summarizes our situation.
The transit of Venus was a spectacular event, unfortunately not visible from Aachen. A really great photo collection is here at The Big Picture (Boston.com). A cold comfort for those who missed it (like me). They always have the best pictures there, by the way. more
June 6, 2012 | in Paper
Three papers published recently caught my eyes. First, Andrej Gosar investigated the earthquake environmental effects (EEEs) of the 12 April 1998 Mw =5.6 Krn Mountains earthquake, Slovenia. The quake measured VII-VIII on the EMS-98 scale, and Andrej found that the intensities reached the same values on the ESI2007 scale. He reports that the intensity distributions for both scales are comparable, but show some differences due to the sparsely populated epicentral area. The research concentrated on rockfalls for EEE determination. It’s a nice example that also moderate events can be characterized using the ESI2007 scale.