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24 April 2017

The Wellington earthquake landslide problem

A few days ago a newspaper in New Zealand highlighted the potential Wellington earthquake landslide problem. Research is ongoing into this key issue


11 April 2017

Who feels earthquakes?

Earthquakes are felt by people somewhere on the globe just about hourly (see this USGS list of felt earthquakes in just the last 24 hours). Some places are particularly prone to them–think Japan, Indonesia, Chile, Italy, California–while some stable parts of the continents will go generations, or even millennia, without anyone there feeling any quaking of the ground. But even in, say, California, where “felt” earthquakes occur daily, most individuals go months …


2 March 2017

Historic earthquakes discovered along San Andreas Fault

A new U.S. Geological Survey study offers a view into the past behavior of large earthquakes along the southern San Andreas Fault. In the study, USGS geologist Kate Scharer and her team excavated trenches across the fault near Frazier Mountain in northeastern Ventura County. This section of the San Andreas previously had no long paleoearthquake record. The researchers found evidence of 10 ground-rupturing earthquakes on this section of the fault between 800 A.D. and the last rupture in 1857.


27 February 2017

NIWA maps huge submarine landslides triggered by the Kaikoura earthquakes

In New Zealand, two research cruises by NIWA have mapped massive submarine landslides triggered by the Kaikoura earthquakes


3 February 2017

Helicopter sluicing of the Kaikoura landslides

In New Zealand, the authorities are using helicopter sluicing to remove loose material from landslides and unstable slopes after the Kaikoura earthquake


31 January 2017

Equipment Repairs in SW Bangladesh

After a night in Dhaka, our group temporarily split up. Chris and Dan headed to Khulna in the SW at 4 am to avoid the hartal (general strike) that was planned for 6am-2pm. Liz and I stayed in Dhaka for a day.


27 January 2017

Sleuthing the site of a century-old earthquake

The second-largest earthquake on the planet in 1904 happened somewhere in Alaska. It could have been St. Michael, Rampart, Fairbanks, Coldfoot or a place called Sunrise on the Kenai Peninsula. People felt the magnitude 7.3 at each place.


Cromwell Gorge: earthquake-induced groundwater changes in very deep-seated landslides

In new paper, O’Brien et al. (2016) report that regional earthquakes generate substantial changes in the groundwater level in landslides in Cromwell Gorge, New Zealand


16 January 2017

Future shock – the failure to learn from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal

To mark National Earthquake Day, the Nepal Times has a series of articles entitled Future Shock that examines the failure to learn from the 2015 earthquake


30 December 2016

Gas released from rocks can predict impending breakage

Small amounts of helium and argon gas released from rocks under stress could be used to predict rock breakage before it occurs, such as during an earthquake or in an underground mine, according to new research. This kind of early-warning signal could be useful for keeping people safe in situations where rock is under high stress, like mining or construction operations, according to the study’s authors.


21 December 2016

New study differentiates between Utah’s natural and induced earthquakes

Mining activity caused nearly half of all earthquakes in Utah over the past three decades, according to a new study. By studying the epicenters of 6,846 earthquakes occurring in the state between 1982 and 2016, scientists at the University of Utah determined 3,957 of them occurred naturally and 2,889 were caused by coal mining.


13 December 2016

Landslides caused by the 1929 M=7.8 Murchison earthquake in New Zealand

GNS Science have just released a report detailing an inventory of landslides triggered by the 1929 Murchison Earthquake in New Zealand


2 December 2016

The North Canterbury Landslide Dams website

Canterbury Maps has created the North Canterbury Landslide Dams portal to provide information about valley blocking landslides after the Kaikoura Earthquake


30 November 2016

Earthquake induced landslides in the Himalayan mountains – new evidence for earthquake potential in Bhutan

A recently-published paper suggests that the Himalayan country of Bhutan suffered a major (approx M=8.0) earthquake in 1714, emphasing the potential for a future event that would probably lead to extensive landsliding.


28 November 2016

A revised landslide map for the M=7.8 Kaikoura earthquake

Valkaniotis Sotiris of the University of Thessaloniki has posted a revised map of landslides triggered by the M=7.8 Kaikoura earthquake in New Zealand


22 November 2016

Here’s what earthquake early warning looks like

When a large earthquake struck the coast of Japan near Fukushima Tuesday morning, people all across the country were alerted nearly immediately–most in advance of significant shaking at their location–by the nation’s sophisticated early warning system. Early warning doesn’t predict the onset of an earthquake, but it does predict the shaking level and time of arrival at locations all around the epicenter once one has begun but before its seismic …


20 November 2016

Geonet commentary on landslides triggered by the Kaikoura Earthquake

Geonet have now provided an initial commentary on the >80,000 landslides triggered by the Kaikoura Earthquake in New Zealand.


18 November 2016

Complex, compound New Zealand earthquake – Part 2: Faulting by Day

Reeling from the massive M7.8 earthquake at midnight, its relentless aftershocks, and the continuing coastal threat of tsunami, New Zealanders awaited daylight on Monday to see the full extent of the destruction. The bizarre seismic records observed overnight had raised confusion and speculation about what faults were to blame for this earthquake. With an epicenter on land but also a several meter tsunami, it was clear that some complicated combination of on- …


17 November 2016

Hapuku River: a major landslide dam after the earthquake in New Zealand

A very large valley blocking landslide has occurred on the Hapuku River in New Zealand following the Kaikoura earthquake, creating a 150 m high dam


16 November 2016

Complex, compound New Zealand earthquake – Part 1: Seismology by Night

Just after midnight last Sunday, the whole country of New Zealand was rocked by a massive earthquake at the north end of the South Island. From the outset, this earthquake was more confounding than most, and as more reports and data amass, we’re gaining a picture of a complicated earthquake that stemmed from the failure of several large faults in succession. These successive failures may have resulted from structural linkages …