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Palaeoseismology: Historical and prehistorical records of earthquake ground effects for seismic hazard assessment

Product Code: SP316
Series: GSL Special Publications
Author/Editor: Edited by K Reicherter, A M Michetti and P G Silva
Publication Date: 31 July 2009
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Special Publication 316.

Given the tremendous toll in human lives and attendant economic losses, it is appropriate that scientists are working hard to understand better earthquakes, with the aim of forecasting and, ultimately, predicting them.

In the last decades increasing attention has been paid to the coseismic effects on the natural environment, creating a solid base of empirical data for the estimation of source parameters of strong earthquakes based on geological observations. The recently introduced INQUA scale (Environmental Seismic Intensity–ESI 2007 Scale) of macroseismic intensity clearly shows how the systematic study of earthquake surface faulting, coseismic liquefaction, tsunami deposits and other primary and secondary ground effects can be integrated with ‘traditional’ seismological and tectonic information to provide a better understanding of the seismicity level of an area and the associated hazards. At the moment this is the only scientific means of equating the seismic records to the seismic cycle time-spans extending the seismic catalogues even to tens of thousands of years, improving future seismic hazard analyses.

This Special Publication covers some of the latest multidisciplinary work undertaken to achieve that aim. Eighteen papers from research groups from all continents address a wide range of topics related both to palaeoseismological studies and assessment of macroseismic intensity based only on the natural phenomena associated with an earthquake.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN: 1-86239-276-5
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-276-2
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 332
Weight: 0.95 kg


Palaeoseismology: historical and prehistorical records of earthquake ground effects for seismic hazard assessment: introduction, K R Reicherter, A M Michetti, & P G Silva
Advances and limitations of the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI 2007) regarding near-field and far-field effects from recent earthquakes in Greece: implications for the seismic hazard assessment, L D Papanikolaou, D I Papanikolaou, & E L Lekkas
Palaeoseismology of the North Anatolian fault near the Marmara Sea: implications for fault segmentation and seismic hazard, T Rockwell, D Ragona, G Seitz, R Langridge, M E Aksoy, G Ucarkus, M Ferry, A J Meltzner, Y Klinger, M Meghraoui, D Satir, A Barka & B Akbalik
Application of the INQUA Environmenal Seismic (IES) Intensity scale to recent earthquakes in Japan and Taiwan, Y Ota, T Azuma & Y-N N Lin
Earthquake intensity calibration based on environmental effects: principles and case studies, R E Tatevossian, E A Rogozhin, S S Arefiev, & A N Ovsyuchenko
Surface and subsurface palaeoseismic records at the ancient Roman city of Baelo Claudia and the Bolonia Bay area, Cadiz (South Spain), P G Silva, K R Reicherter, C Grutzner, T Bardaji, J Lario, J L Goy, P Becker-Heidmann & C Zazo
Ground effects of the October 18, 1992, Murindo Earthquake (NW Colombia), using the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI 2007) for the assessment of the intensity, S Mosquera-Machado, C Lalinde-Pulido, E Salcedo-Hurtado & A M Michetti
Prehistoric seismicity-induced liquefaction along the western segment of the strike-slip Kunlun fault, northern Tibet, A Lin & J Guo
The Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, earthquake of 8 October 2005: surface faulting, environmental effects and macroseismic intensity, Z Ali, M Qaisar, T Mahmood, M A Shah, L Serva, A M Michetti & P W Burton
Stress change over short geological time: the case of Scandinavia over 9000 years since the Ice Age, S Gregersen & P Voss
Late Holocene earthquake geology in Sweden, N-A Morner
Testing a seismic scenario for the damage of the Neolithic wooden well of Erkelenz-Kuckhoven, Germany, K G Hinzen & J Weiner
Spelaeoseismology and palaeoseismicity of the Benis Cave (Murcia, SE Spain): coseismic effects of the 1999 Mula earthquake (mb 4.8), R Perez-Lopez, M A Rodriguez-Pascua, J L Giner-Robles, J J Martinez-Diaz, A Marcos-Nuez, P G Silva, M Bejar & J P Calvo
Tsunami deposits in the western Mediterranean: remains of the 1522 Almeria earthquake? K R Reicherter & P Becker-Heidmann
Palaeoseismology of the Vilarica Segment of the Manteigas-Braganca Fault in northeastern Portugal, T Rockwell, J Fonseca, C Madden, T Dawson, L A Owen, S Vilanova & P Figueiredo
Recent seismic activity in the NW Himalayan fold and thrust belt, Pakistan: focal mechanism solution and its tectonic implications, Monalisa
Palaeoearthquake surface rupture in a transition zone from strike-slip to oblique-normal slip and its implications to seismic hazard, North Island Fault System, New Zealand, V Mouslopoulou, A Nicol, T A Little & J G Begg
Pleistocene to Recent rejuvenation of the Hebron Fault, SW Namibia, S White, H Stollhofen, I G Stanistreet & V Lorenz



Review by: John J. Clague, Centre for Natural Hazard Research, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Featured in Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, August 2012

This volume, entitled Paleoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Record of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment, provides a snapshot of the current state of paleoseismology, a field that encompasses the last of the three groups of studies mentioned above. Paleo-earthquake research is a broad endeavour, with roots in geology, seismology, tectonics, structural geomorphology, geomorphology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology. Its practitioners are interdisciplinary scientists who conduct field research and typically have strong interests in risk, a topic that lies outside physical science.

This volume is not the final word on the subject of paleoseismology, but it illustrates how far the science has come since the first fault trenches were excavated and described in California and Japan less than 40 years ago.

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