A paleoseismicity-spy and desert geologist in Alaska

The SSA2014 annual meeting took place in Anchorage, Alaska from 29 April – 2 May. Currently the post-meeting excursion on the effects of the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 is taking place, and we placed our paleoseismicity-spy Gösta Hoffmann in the group. We hope that no one realizes that he’s a desert geologist and absolutely in the wrong place, but he promised to not wear his Teva sandals in order not be identified. Gösta is Associate Professor at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and works on coastal change and tsunamis, and particularly on tsunamis in the Arabian Sea. Here is his report from Alaska: Continue reading “A paleoseismicity-spy and desert geologist in Alaska”

Fieldtrip guide for download: 4D Architecture of an Oblique Rift Margin – Paleoseismology of the Borrego and Laguna Salada Faults (MEX)

The Friends of the Pleistocene went on a fieldtrip few days ago to study the 4D Architecture of an Oblique Rift Margin in Baja California, NW Mexico. The tour focussed on the paleoseismology of the Borrega and Laguna Salada Faults, especially on the 1982 and 2010 surface ruptures, and took place fom 27 February to 2 March, 2014. You can download the detailed field guide and the road log here. Continue reading “Fieldtrip guide for download: 4D Architecture of an Oblique Rift Margin – Paleoseismology of the Borrego and Laguna Salada Faults (MEX)”

USGS report about the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario – EQ in Alaska triggers tsunami that hits California

On 27 March, 1964, an earthquake of magnitude 9.2 occurred offshore Alaska (Plafker, 1965) and caused a Pacific-wide tsunami. This quake was the second most powerful that was ever recorded and is also referred to as the Great Alaska Earthquake. The USGS has now released a report on a comparable tsunami scenario. The SAFRR (Science Application for Risk Reduction) Tsunami Scenario deals with a tsunami caused by a major quake off Alaska and investigates the possible impact at the coast of California.  Continue reading “USGS report about the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario – EQ in Alaska triggers tsunami that hits California”

Paleoseismological papers in the BSSA April 2013 issue

BSSA’s most recent issue is full of paleoseismological work. The April 2013 issue contains a number of papers dealing with old earthquakes in Turkey, California, Argentina, and Jamaica. Also, there’s info on earthquake catalogues in South America and China. A study on seismic sources in the Lower Rhine Embayment, (W Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands) is especially interesting for me, because it’s right in my backyard. Plus, there are some basic studies on the reliability of paleoseismological investigation and problems in earthquake geology. Continue reading “Paleoseismological papers in the BSSA April 2013 issue”

Field Course in Neotectonics & Paleoseismology – May 22-31, 2013 in Crestone, Colorado, USA

Jim McCalpin will teach his 13th Field Course in Neotectonics and Paleoseismology from May 22-31, 2013 in Crestone, Colorado, USA. This is a “9-day summer Field Course, offered by the Crestone Science Center, which teaches the latest field techniques, but also contains evening lectures covering the entire field of Paleoseismology.” Continue reading “Field Course in Neotectonics & Paleoseismology – May 22-31, 2013 in Crestone, Colorado, USA”

What’s up? The Friday links (55)

We’ve seen several magnitude 6 earthquakes last week. On 28 Januar, a shallow M6.1 strike-slip event occurred in eastern Kazakhstan. A little surprise only, we knew about thrust mechanisms in this area, but of course some strike-slip movements do not change the big picture. Would be interesting to check for surface ruptures. This is, by the way, the study area of our friend and colleague Angela Landgraf. Maybe we can convince her to write something about the paleoseismological background of that area? Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (55)”

New papers on the Sparta Fault, Greece and the Wasatch Fault, Utah

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”

What’s up? The Friday links (40)

On 11 April 2012, a Mw8.6 strike-slip earthquake occurred off Sumatra in a kind of intra-plate setting and came as a surprise to the earthquake community. Such a strong strike-slip event was not expected, we always thought that the huge thrust quakes at subduction zones were the only ones to release that much energy. Now a press release by CalTech reports on the latest studies that came to the result that many previously unknown perpendicular faults ruptured at this event. Immediately some journalists suggested that this might also happen at the San Andreas Fault. I do not know of any paleoseismological evidence that this has happened there before. However, how likely is this scenario?

Link to the paper: An earthquake in a maze: compressional rupture branching during the April 11 2012 M8.6 Sumatra earthquake. Continue reading “What’s up? The Friday links (40)”