Let’s start with some good news: The first two Galileo satellites (Natalia and Thijs) will be launched today from Kourou. It’s a little behind the schedule (6 years) and the entire project has become a little more expensive than previously thought (1,600,000,000 €), but who cares? It will provide 1 m GPS resolution! 1 m!!!
There is one more Archaeopteryx! Really! Soemone who does not want his name to be told handed out the fossil to scientists. After a thoroughly investigation of that great piece of Solnhofen Plattenkalk, the anonymous collector will get back his bird. No, his dinosaur I mean. Ehm, his Archaeopteryx.
Dave Petley reported on a giant landslide in Iceland. It’s expected to have ~1,000,000 m³. See the amazing images, just great.
Earthquake prediction again: The former president of India, Abdul Kalam, said earthquake prediction will be possible within 10 years. It would be great if he was right, but he isn’t. Why do people continue to say that? There are so many that “predict” earthquakes, and so many people relying on them. What a pity… more
Sorry for starting with a non-geological link again, but it’s important: We have two more elements! Well, two more names in the periodic table at least: Flerovium (element 114, atomic mass 289) and Moscovium (element 116, atomic mass 292). Welcome! more
I am not sure if the geoscience community has realized that astronomy made three steps forward recently, so I’ll start out of topic. Three major astronomical problems have been solved! Really! more
The Japan M9.0 earthquake and the following tsunami are well documented by videos, photographs, sea-level measurements, seismograms etc. But how do we recognize such huge events if they happened some thousands of years ago? If there’s no historical report we would use earthquake environmental effects (EEE) for characterizing the earthquake and paleoseismicity. Let’s look what would be left from a 5000 year old earthquake and tsunami. more
An earthquake with a magnitude of Mw9.0 has occured 130 km east of Honshu, Japan in a depth of ~25 km. This had been the fourth or fifth strongest earthquake to be recorded by instrumental seismology. The quake caused significant destruction to the Honshu Island and triggered a tsunami that destroyed a number of harbours. In some places (Sendai), tsunami heights were reported to exceed 10 m. A tsunami warning has been released for wide parts of the Pacific, but in Hawaii only 1 m was observed, therefore the warnings for the US West Coast have been lowered. more
The Christchurch earthquake was the main topic of the Geoblogosphere this week. A great analysis on the effects was provided by Dave Petley in his Landslide Blog. Highly Allochthonous reasoned on seismic lensing, Ontario Geofish posted a lot on building security, and countless news sites came up with photos and reports. Frank Taylor, who hosted the GoogleEarthBlog before he left for a sailing trip around the world, was in Christchurch next to the Cathedral when the quake happened. On his Tahina Expedition website he reports on his experiences.
A M6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand on 22 February (21 Feb in UTC), leaving at least 75 people dead and hundreds injured or missing. Hundreds of houses were destroyed, including the Christchurch Cathedral, and damages will probably sum up to some billion dollars. On 4 September 2010 (3 Sept in UTC), a M7.0 event struck Christchurch, but then no one was killed. So: what’s the difference between the two events?