There is a wonderful, amazing, extraordinary postdoc position open at Oxford University: Palaeoseismology of Central Asian Earthquake Ruptures.
We seek to appoint a postdoctoral research assistant to undertake investigations of large earthquakes within the interior of Asia. The post is part of a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust called EROICA. The successful candidate will work closely with Professor Richard Walker, and will join a vibrant community of active tectonics researchers in Oxford within the Earthquake Geology and Geodesy group.
The researcher will be responsible for the detailed mapping of palaeo-earthquake ruptures, the construction of slip distributions from individual earthquakes, the analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery, the construction of digital topographic models, and the selection of sites for long-term slip-rate determination using field investigation. The PDRA will also be involved in planning and carrying out fieldwork to verify remote-sensing observations, to collect samples for dating, and to excavate and interpret palaeo-seismic trenches. We expect the researcher to help in supervising doctoral and masters student research projects, in addition to undertaking their own research.
The Tien Shan takes up about 20 mm/yr of N-S shortening as a result of the India-Eurasia convergence. Recent paleoseismological studies have shown that the shortening is accommodated by a large number of faults, whose slip rates are relatively low. Although the historical earthquake catalogues only reach back a few hundred years, we know that the Tien Shan has seen some of the strongest intracontinetal quakes world-wide with magnitudes exceeding M8. Paleoseismological studies have revealed a large number of surface-rupturing earthquakes, too. But the question is: Do all these known faults rupture in strong earthquakes? In a recent paper, my colleagues and I argue that there is at least one major fault in the Northern Tien Shan that is creeping (Mackenzie et al., 2018). more
Our colleague Alexander Strom informed us that the 12th Kokomeren Summer School on rockslides and related phenomena (Kyrgyzstan) will take place from 15-30 August , 2018. The announcement and a detailed, full-color guidebook could be downloaded here:
Thanks a lot, Alexander!
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! more
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).
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!
A few weeks ago I spent ten days of field work in the Suusamyr Valley in Kyrgyzstan. In the framework of the EwF Project and COMET a team from Oxford (Eleanor Ainscoe, Austin Elliott, Richard Walker) and Kyrgyzstan (Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov, Azat 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. more