What’s up? The Friday links (40)

On 11 April 2012, a Mw8.6 strike-slip earthquake occurred off Sumatra in a kind of intra-plate setting and came as a surprise to the earthquake community. Such a strong strike-slip event was not expected, we always thought that the huge thrust quakes at subduction zones were the only ones to release that much energy. Now a press release by CalTech reports on the latest studies that came to the result that many previously unknown perpendicular faults ruptured at this event. Immediately some journalists suggested that this might also happen at the San Andreas Fault. I do not know of any paleoseismological evidence that this has happened there before. However, how likely is this scenario?

Link to the paper: An earthquake in a maze: compressional rupture branching during the April 11 2012 M8.6 Sumatra earthquake.

Sakurajima volcano erupted with a huge blast

Sakurajima volcano in Japan erupted on Tuesday, 24 July. The footage shows an impressive explosion with a huge blast wave hitting the clouds:

Similar effects but on a smaller scale were also visible during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption:

Exceptionally long paleoseismic record of a slow-moving fault

María Ortuño and her colleagues puplished a paper on their studies at the Alhama de Murcia fault, Spain, in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, B30558.1: An exceptionally long paleoseismic record of a slow-moving fault: The Alhama de Murcia fault (Eastern Betic shear zone, Spain).

New book: Tectonics – Recent advances

A new book has been published: Tectonics – Recent advances by InTech. It’s open access and several of the 11 chapters are interesting for paleoseismologists, including

Happy Birthday, Landsat! 40 years of science

Landsat had its 40th anniversary and Google’s congratulation included this nice video:

Don’t miss this Landsat gallery from Discovery News.

Impressive pictures from the recent extreme weather events in the US

The Big Picture from Boston.com has a nice gallery of images related to the recent downpours and droughts in the US.

Landslide activity in the UK and worldwide

During the last days, a number of mass movements occurred that made it to the media. In the UK, a landslide uncovered 1,000 World War II bombs and in Dorset one person was trapped by a landslide that happened at a cliff. Dave Petley has a great summary of other incidents: A weekend of landslide incidents. In Austria, a mudflow destroyed an entire village (Attention – annoying ads!):


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


  • terry | July 27, 2012|11:16 (UTC)

    I think the San Andreas solution is unlikely. But, I wonder if this complex maze-quake is a solution for the 1755 and 1761 Lisbon quakes.

  • Christoph | July 30, 2012|11:02 (UTC)

    Well, this would explain the huge magnitude and the fact that we haven’t really found the epicentre yet. On the other hand, Lisbon1755 caused a giant tsunami, and that was not the case in Sumatra.

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