What’s up? The Friday links (39)

The coolest thing I’ve seen this week came from the British Geological Survey. They developed an app (for Android only) called iGeology 3D, which paints the geological map of your position around you. Yes, in 3D. Yes, only in the UK, but hey – great stuff! And it’s free, okay, it’s tax money… On Facebook, students are already stating that they will have a very easy mapping course next year. I can only hope that classical mapping (with compass, a map made up of paper, hammer, hand lens, acid and all that 20th Century stuff) will remain a basic course for all geoscience students. I’ve seen a geological compass app for a smartphone in the field recently, but it worked on very few hardrock surfaces only, because the owner didn’t want to dirty his mobile… However, this app is the logical consequence after the BGS already published this some time ago:


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Richter’s SeismoLab for sale

Yes, it’s Charles Richter, the Richter. The beautiful villa from the 1930s was CalTechs Seismolab for decades and is now for sale. This is your chance to buy a piece of geoscience history!

Interesting papers published recently

I came across a number of papers that I will need to read next week. A precursor for earthquakes?

PSHA for Oman – I am working there, so this is interesting:

  • El-Hussain, I., Deif, A., Al-Jabri, K., Toksoz, N., El-Hady, S., Al-Hashmi, S., Al-Toubi, K., Al-Shijbi, Y., Al-Saifi, M., Kuleli, S. 2012 – Probabilistic seismic hazard maps for the sultanate of Oman. Natural Hazards 2012, DOI 10.1007/s11069-012-0232-3.

One of the worst disasters in Europe during the last 200 years was the earthquake and tsunami in Messina, Southern Italy, in 1908. Thousands of people died. Now there’s a probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment:

How to detect faults in dolostones? A how-to from Italy:

  • Fondriesta, M., Smith, S.A.F., Di Toro, G., Zampieri, D., Mittempergher, S., 2012 – Fault zone structure and seismic slip localization in dolostones, an example from the Southern Alps, Italy. Journal of Structural Geology, Available online 14 July 2012, doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.06.014.

Also, two papers were published in our work group at RWTH Aachen University:

  • Höbig, N., Weber, M.E., Kehl, M., Weniger, G.C., Julià, R., Melles, M., Fülöp, R.-H., Vogel, H., Reicherter, K., 2012: Lake Banyoles (northeastern Spain): A Last Glacial to Holocene multi-proxy study with regard to environmental variability and human occupation. Quaternary International, In Press, Corrected Proof, available online 29 May 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2012.05.036
  • Grützner, C., Reicherter, K., Hübscher, C., Silva, P.G., 2012: Active faulting and neotectonics in the Baelo Claudia area, Campo de Gibraltar (southern Spain). Tectonophysics, 554-557, 127-142.

A lifelong research on earthquake prediction – Vladimir Keilis-Borok

Soviet geophysicist Vladimir Keilis-Borok became famous when he managed to predict an earthquake in California (1989). Soon, his scientific merits were in doubt because other forecasts didn’t fit, or let’s say the Earth did not behave well. MyDesert.com tells his story.

XKCD on erotic geology

No, not erratics – erotic! I know, I know, it has been in the geoblogosphere, on Twitter, on Facebook and so on one million times. However, better to tell it again than having only one poor soul who didn’t see it – XKCD’s latest masterpiece on how sexy geology sometimes is. Once you are there, also check the power output of Yoda.

Paleoseismicity.org in Baku, Azerbaijan

One of our students, Caspar, took part in the Allgäu-Orient-Rallye, a motorsports event that takes the participants from Southern Germany to Baku, Azerbaijan, and a great adventure as Caspar assured me. The rules very briefly: buy a very old car, reach Baku following some crazy rules, and sell the car for charity. And: Put a paleoseismicity.org sticker on your car!

The BMW that made it from the Allgäu to Baku, with a paleoseismicity.org sticker on the rear bumber. Thanks, Caspar!

If you ever want to have a sticker, too, just drop us a mail!

Finally, just because it’s soooo funny, a video form a gopher living under the Baikonur launch pad! Brave little gopher.


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Have a nice weekend!

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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.

See all posts Christoph Grützner

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