SSA meeting in San Diego (& excursion to active faults!)

Klaus and me went to the SSA 2012 annual meeting in San Diego in April. The conference was great and very focussed. I really like that kind of rather small meetings, where almost everything is interesting for me. I saw a lot of interesting posters and great talks and especially liked the paleoseismology and archeoseismology sessions (of course!).

Klaus at the SSA 2012 meeting

The session Earthquakes and Tsunamis at Coastal Archaeological Sites (chaired by Manuel, Beverly and Tina) had five interesting presentations on the broader Mediterranean area, and the talk from Klaus caused a huge media echo (more on this in a later post). With ground motions and site response dealt the session Macroseismic Effects in Recent and Ancient Earthquakes and their Relationship to Ground Motion Parameters. Especially Klaus Hintzen’s talk on modeling of the deformation observed in L’Aquila and Lorca caught my interest here. Good posters with a lot of fascinating trenching data could be found in the Neotectonics, Fault Geology and Paleoseismic Studies session. Additionally, the lunch was great and the organizers did a perfect job.

It was fun to meet some good friends and colleagues, and also to get to know new colleagues. I hope I can convince some of them to contribute to in the future…

Tom Rockwell led one of the official excursions to the Elsinore Fault in southern California and showed fascinating geology and impressive fault features.

Where is the Elsinore Fault? Somewhere in that pretty hot desert...

There it is!

The fault had nice offset channels and some clear lithological contacts. A great feeling to stand at one of the most important tectonic features in Southern California, although we had around 40°C. Tom, however, managed to impress me even more the next day when we drove to Mexico and had a look at his work on the Laguna Salada Fault which ruptured in 2010, shaking large parts of Baja California!

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This was just great, the surface ruptures were so impressive!

A beautiful cactus in front of an even more beautiful surface rupture.

What an offset, vertically more than 2 m at places, but varying a lot along the fault trace!

The fault trace is visible over dozens of kilometers.

A road side fence, offset by the 2010 magnitude 7.2 earthquake

The end of the faults, but surely not the end of the earthquakes there...

All in all, we had a great time, and a muchissima gracias goes to Tom for his hospitality and patience.

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Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jena University. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and looks for ancient earthquakes.

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  • Eric Fielding (@EricFielding) | 2012-05-06|22:00 (UTC)

    The M 7.2 earthquake in Baja California, Mexico was in 2010, so those nice fault scarps were more than two years old.

  • Christoph Grützner | 2012-05-07|05:48 (UTC)

    Thanks Eric, you’re right, of course! I corrected that.

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