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). Continue reading “New papers on the Sparta Fault, Greece and the Wasatch Fault, Utah”
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! Continue reading “New papers – Minoan earthquakes, catastrophism, archaeoseismology in Israel, Costa Concordia”
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. Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (34)”
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.
Databases for active faults are a major input for seismic hazard assessment and have been widely developed in several countries (such as USA, Japan, Italy and New Zealand). Despite the fact that Greece is the country of highest seismicity in Europe where almost 50% of the total seismic energy is realized, no official or unofficial active fault database exists. This is partly due to the fact that there are so many active faults that introduce a heavy workload, whereas several of them are also located offshore. This is particularly difficult for engineers since according to the latest the seismic building code that was released in 2000, no houses should be founded on active faults. Continue reading “Active Fault Database for Northern Greece”
I have made a video of our fieldwork in Greece, because I guess somehow we must communicate to the public what our work is about. Also, we must encourage young people to study geosciences. Well, now I concentrated on the second task: Hey, clever young people out there! Do you like science? Do you like nature? Are you interested in the big questions like “Where does this rock come from? When will the next earthquake happen? Where can I find groundwater? Why do volcanoes erupt? Which coast is threatened by Tsunamis?” Do you like to travel abroad, to work hard and to still have fun in the evenings? Do you want to meet nice people? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the above, think about studying geoscience. Continue reading “Video on geological and geophysical field work in Greece – The dirt people reloaded”
Elsevier is facing ongoing protests, especially from the blogosphere. Not only did thousands of scientists sign the boycott (no publishing, no reviewing, no editorial work), but more issues come up step by step. How much is an open access article? $0? Nope. Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week found out it’s 10.88 GBP (~13 €). Amazing. Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (31)”
The 2nd INQUA- IGCP 567 International Workshop on “Active Tectonics, Earthquake Geology, Archaeology and Engineering” was held in Corinth 19-24 September 2011. The event has been organized jointly by the INQUA-TERPRO Focus Area on Paleoseismology and Active Tectonics and the IGCP-567 “Earthquake Archaeology”.
This beautiful, isolated rock stands in the Alkyonides Gulf, the northwestern part of the Gulf of Corinth. It has some beautiful notches, which indicate recent uplift. It is situated right on the footwall of an active fault, which was activated during the 1981 earthquake sequence. It is not so easy to use those notches as sea level indicators or for measuring tectonic movements if both effects have to be taken into account. The fault has a huge throw and a beautiful scarp (limestone) with lots of slickensides. One of my favourite places in Greece. Well, the entire Perachora peninsula is worth a visit – an earthquake geologist’s Disney Land!
Delphi is one of the most impressive places I’ve ever seen. The landscape is just breathtaking – the archaeological site is situated on the southern flank of the Parnassus Mountains, dominating the entire valley. You can see the Gulf of Corinth right from the temples, and due to the steep slope you feel like Delphi is built on many floors with the stadium being the roof. The oracle might be related to faults under the temple; some authors speculate that gas vents (ethane?) caused hallucinations of the priest, which were interpreted as the oracle. Another nice thing is that you can see the archaeoseismological damage from strong historical earthquakes everywhere – cracks, rotated and tilted walls, corner break-outs, dropped keystones in arches and so on. Continue reading “Saturday Geology Picture: Delphi, Greece”