Text: Gösta Hoffmann with contributions by Michaela Falkenroth, Valeska Decker, Bastian Schneider and Christoph Grützner
“The beaches in Oman are pristine.” What sounds like an introductory sentence to a tourist brochure has scientific significance. Natural conditions without anthropogenic overprint are characteristic for vast stretches along the 1700 km coastline of Oman from the Strait of Hormuz in the north to the border of Yemen in the south. This situation allows geological research addressing Quaternary sea-level change on various timescales spanning from minutes to millennia. Over the last couple of years, we carried out research funded by the Omani Government and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Our findings are currently published in a series of papers (Schneider et al. 2018; Ermertz et al. 2019; Falkenroth et al. 2019, subm.; Hoffmann et al. 2020a, b) and are briefly summarised here.
Our colleague Jessica Pilarczyk send us the following message regarding an AGU session on Interdisciplinary Tsunami Science:
Dear paleoseismicity.org members,
We invite you to submit an abstract to the session, “Interdisciplinary Tsunami Science” at the Fall 2017 American Geophysical Union Meeting, to be held in New Orleans 11-15 December. The session description is below. The deadline to submit an abstract is 2 August 23:59 EST/04:59 +1 GMT.
The URL for the abstract submission for this session is: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/nh/papers/index.cgi?sessionid=25672
The 5th International Tsunami Field Symposium will be held from 3-7 September, 2017, in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to the scientific sessions an interesting 3-days field trip will take the participants to the tsunami hot spots of the Algarve coast. Visit the official website for more information and make sure to save the date! more
The IGCP project 639 deals with sea-level changes, coastal earthquakes, and inundation by storms and tsunami: “Sea-level changes: From minutes to millenia”. The first meeting in Oman will take place from 9-14 November 2016 and will cover all science under the IGCP project 639 banner. Make sure to put this on your agenda if you’re interested.
Further details will be forthcoming in the second announcement in the next month. The abstract submission deadline will likely be 1 August, 2016.
Tsunamis are a very real threat in the Indian Ocean. Most people will immediately think of the 2004 tsunami and the Sumatra subduction zone, but the Arabian Sea has seen strong tsunamis in the past, too. In 1945, a major earthquake at the Makran Subduction Zone caused a large tsunami (Hoffmann et al., 2013a). In 2013, the on-shore Balochistan earthquake caused a submarine slide which in turn triggered a tsunami that reached the coast of Oman (Heidarzadeh & Satake, 2014; Hoffmann et al., 2014a). There is also evidence for paleotsunamis along Oman’s coast (Hoffmann et al., 2013b; Hoffmann et al., 2014b). Now a team of scientists from RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and GUtech (Muscat, Oman) have published a tsunami inundation scenario for Muscat (Schneider et al., 2016). This is lead author Bastian Schneider’s guest blog on this research: more
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Makran Earthquake and Tsunami. On 27 November, 1945, an earthquake of magnitude Mw8.1 occurred at the Makran Subduction Zone offshore Pakistan. A large tsunami was triggered that reached the coasts of Pakistan, Iran, India, and Oman. The quake and the waves left approx. 4,000 people dead. A new book collects interviews with survivors. The book has been published by the UNESCO through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and is available for free download here. more
Karachi is the most populated city in Pakistan with around 24,000,000 inhabitants – just as many as Australia. Since many years a nuclear power plant (NPP) is located just a few miles outside the city at the shore. Ongoing work on new reactors with Chinese help has recently sparked outrage and media coverage. Concerns are that any accidents at the NPP might have dramatic consequences and threaten millions of people. I searched the recent scientific literature on seismic and tsunami hazard for Karachi…
Several meetings on tsunamis will be held during the next months, make sure not to miss them. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. This event was not only one of the most deadly natural disasters that ever happened, but it also was a kind of wake-up call for tsunami science. It’s safe to say that it had an enormous impact on research funding and it is responsible for a huge increase in scientific tsunami literature. The meetings will be a good occasion to share your research. more
On 24 September, 2013, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred in Balochistan, Pakistan. The quake caused intense ground motions and had dramatic consequences – hundreds of people died, and more than 100,000 lost their homes. A secondary effect which caught much attention in the international media was the birth of an island off the Pakistani coast – Zalzala Jazeera or Earthquake Island. Another effect which went almost completely unnoticed was a small tsunami in the Arabian Sea. The tsunami reached wave heights of around 1 m at the Omani coast. In a paper which was recently published in Geology, my colleagues and me document the tsunami effects in Oman. We conclude on a submarine slide off Pakistan as the likely trigger mechanism.
The SSA 2014 conference in Anchorage, Alaska is over and so is the post-meeting excursion. Our friend and colleague Gösta was attending this field trip on the environmental effects of the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 and he sent us some nice images and a brief description of this trip. This is the second part of his report. more