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Geoscientist Online

Seismicity, Fault Rupture and Earthquake Hazards in Slowly Deforming Regions

sartuThis publication includes 13 papers from topics related to applied seismology, geodesy, earthquake hazard assessment and earthquake geology in slowly deforming (intraplate) settings.  None of the papers appears to cover any one topic in detail.  Rather, a few of the papers give insight into a few issues, including some in specific geologic settings. The title could have been used for a three-volume set, each volume taking one topic, leading to a final series of papers addressing seismic hazard assessment in slowly deforming regions verses active fault margins. 

The lead paper addresses areas of slowly deforming regions at a regional level, noting that in some cases a fault or fault-related features may have been partially eroded, buried, or have extremely long reoccurrence intervals. Areas with currently higher strain rates may have more sharply pronounced crisp fault-related features.  It is noted that this is not always the case, since faults can migrate; and faults away from areas with currently large strain-rates have experienced a number of large earthquakes in both the historic record as well as in prehistory (as in parts of central Asia and elsewhere). 

Of the papers presented, several merit specific attention; however, the room in this review is limited.  Five of the volume’s papers were devoted to work in central Asia. This set of papers helps to fill in both the historic and paleoseismic records in, or near, the Tien Shan Mountains in Northern Kyrgyzstan and Southern Kazakhstan or in the Hangay Mountains of Mongolia.   This is a relatively important study region since so many large magnitude earthquakes are known to have occurred there either in historic times or in the Holocene.  This is a region that is not heavily populated or well mapped or instrumented.  None of the papers covers the entire geologic setting of the Tien Shan or Hangay Mountains.  This collection of papers is a very helpful resource on a regional scale. 

I also found a paper on the influence of groundwater recharge on naturally occurring intraplate earthquakes to be a great primer to the subject.

Reviewed by: Robert Anderson

SEISMICITY, FAULT RUPTURE AND EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS IN SLOWLY DEFORMING REGIONS by A. LANDGRAF, S. KÜBLER, E. HINTERSBERGER AND S. STEIN (eds) 2017 Published by the Geological Society, ISBN:  978-1-86239-745-3   List Price:  £100 Fellows Price:  £50