New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (May 2017)

It’s just a few months after the Kaikoura earthquake and now the first papers have been published already. Today’s paper round-up also includes studies on dating tsunami boulders, turbidite paleoseismology, paleoseismology in the Tien Shan, the recent Italy and New Zealand earthquakes, and earthquakes and social media. Enjoy reading! Continue reading “New papers on paleoseismology, tsunami, and active tectonics (May 2017)”

New papers on paleoseismology in the Tien Shan

Between 1885 and 1938, the northern Tien Shan at the border between present Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan experienced a remarkable series of five major earthquakes, exceeding M6.9 and reaching up to M ~ 8 (1885 Belovodskoe M6.9, 1887 Verny M7.3, 1889 Chilik M~8, 1911 Chon Kemin M8, and 1938 Kemino Chu M6.9). Combined, the seismic moments add up to almost moment magnitude 9, which is a significant amount of strain released in roughly 50 years and across an E-W stretch of less than 500 kilometers. Even more intriguing is the fact that the ruptured region is located more than thousand km north of the nearest plate boundary and associated India-Eurasia collision zone. The macroseismic areas of these earthquakes include the present-day capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek (Frunze) and the former capital and still largest city of Kazakhstan, Almaty (earlier names Alma Ata and Verny).
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Literature update

Lots of paleoseismology and tsunami studies are currently being published… Here’s my update on the latest papers, including: Surface ruptures, seismic swarms, tsunamites, Asian tectonics, slip rates and archaeoseismology. Plus: A very interesting study on the 1911 Chon-Kemin M8.0 earthquake in the Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan border region, the source process reconstruced from analogue seismograms. Thanks to Ramon Arrowsmith for pointing me to this one. Enjoy!

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Paleoseismological field work in Kyrgyzstan

A few weeks ago I spent ten days of field work in the Suusamyr Valley in Kyrgyzstan. In the framework of theĀ EwF Project and COMET a team from Oxford (Eleanor Ainscoe, Austin Elliott, Richard Walker) and Kyrgyzstan (Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov, AzatĀ Moldobaev) re-visited the epicentral area of the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr earthquake. This thrust earthquake is quite special for it produced intense and widespread secondary earthquake environmental effects (landslides, rockfalls, secondary ruptures, mud eruptions, etc.), but remarkably short primary surface ruptures only. Actually, surface ruptures of several metres height were found near the Suusamyr river, but limited to few hundreds of metres in length. Some 25 km to the west, another set of surface ruptures appeared, which were only about 1 m in height and less than 3 km long. Here are some impressions from our field work. Continue reading “Paleoseismological field work in Kyrgyzstan”