What’s up? The Friday links (80)

Here are some links I collected on today’s Kent Earthquake, the impossible task of earthquake prediction and some videos on Structure From Motion and Pacific tsunami propagation. Today is Friday and here are your links!

The Sentinel-1 satellite, operated by ESA, gathered SAR-data of the earthquake-struck area of Kathmandu, following the April 25 earthquake and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) calculated the surface displacement in a 90×30 km scene. The displacement added up to 2m locally. (HT NASA EO)

The DLR calculated the displacement caused by the (first) Nepal earthquake using Sentinel-1 data

The DLR calculated the displacement caused by the (first) Nepal earthquake using Sentinel-1 data


Structure from Motion is an emerging low-cost, quick, quite easy, and high-quality remote sensing method – and here is a video featuring Ramon Arrowsmith explaining how to fly the baloon:


Earth scientists often get involved answering the question of How and when will it be possible to predict earthquakes? Well, in contrast to the challenging public demand to do so, it is likely that earthquake prediction will remain impossible. Besides the classical papers by Robert Geller (1997) and Yan Kagan (1999), this recent article on phys.org also discusses the (im)possibility of earthquake prediction.

Science and mathematics have not reached a point where they can forecast with certainty the exact time and specific severity of these cataclysmic events—and may never do so. “The best we can do is make an assessment of there being a heightened risk in a certain geographic area over a certain window of time”, said William Newman, a theoretical physicist, […] “We can determine a sense of what is likely to occur, but we will never know exactly.”

HT @SeismoSteve



Today, fifty-five years ago, the destructice 1960 M9.5 Valdivia Earthquake hit Chile and was the largest earthquake that was ever recorded. The earthquake did not only cause destruction on-shore, but also generated a tsunami that crosses the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center posted these two tsunami model animations, also comparing the 1960 tsunami with the 2010 Maule tsunami and 2014 Iquique tsunami:


Today, this year, my twitter feed was full of tweets about the Kent earthquake. After some shaking and the news that it was ‘only’ a magnitude 4 event and everybody was safe – and officials assured, that those quakes aren’t uncommon for the UK and that the earthquake was not related to fracking activities, the British sense of humor bursted out of everybody. But before I link the hilarious part – here is an incredible number, that compares the Nepal and Kent earthquakes:

And some more numbers:

Among the EMSC-CSEM testimonies, I like this sentence the most:

Woke me up. So disturbed I made a cup of tea!
– Minster, 1 km NW from epicenter

On Twitter:

And then there are these two witnesses from the Telegraph ticker:

Jo Petite:
The whole house shook. I woke my partner and said that there had been an earth tremor. I checked the time, it was 02.56. He got up to make tea; he thought I was mistaken and that a burglar had climbed onto the scaffolding.

Will Mosedale:
Woke up thinking that exam stress had got the better of me and that I was shaking, then I realised that the rest of the room was shaking too and thought it was a strange dream. Luckily I got a call in morning asking if I felt the earthquake and now I feel a little less mad.



And here are some favourite tweets of last week:





Have a nice weekend!

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Andreas Rudersdorf

Andreas Rudersdorf

loves finding and exploring faults using remote sensing and shallow geophysics. No matter if slowly active, buried or just undiscovered! He is studing neotectonics in the Gobi desert at RWTH Aachen University.

See all posts Andreas Rudersdorf

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