Project

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Lake sediments as archive of paleoearthquakes in Switzerland

Applicant Kremer Katrina
Number 171318
Funding scheme Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants
Research institution Schweizerischer Erdbebendienst ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.02.2017 - 31.01.2019
Approved amount 229'686.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geology
Geophysics

Keywords (6)

Seismic hazard; Mass transport deposit; Lake sediments; Paleoearthquake magnitude and source; Turbidites; Paleoseismology

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Erdbeben können in Seen Massenbewegungen auslösen, die in den Seesedimenten abgelagert werden. Diese Ablagerungen können in Sedimentarchiven erkannt werden. Somit dienen Seesedimente als Erdbebenarchive und geben Auskunft über die Häufigkeit und Stärke von Erdbeben in prähistorischer Zeit. Obwohl diese Methode in vielen Regionen angewendet wird, ist immer noch wenig über die Vollständigkeit dieser Archive bekannt.
Lay summary

Das übergeordnete Ziel dieses Projektes ist es die Vollständigkeit des Seearchivs in Bezug auf Erdbeben besser einzuordnen und die prähistorischen Erdbeben besser zu quantifizieren. In diesem Kontext, sollen am Beispiel des Thunersees folgende Fragen beantwortet werden: (1) Welche historischen Erdbeben (und welche nicht) werden in den Sedimenten des Thunersees erfasst? (2) Welche Faktoren kontrollieren die Unterwasserrutschungen? (3) Ändert sich Sensitivität des Sees mit der Zeit? (4) Wie vollständig ist das Thunersee Erdbebenarchiv im Vergleich zu den historischen Archiven? In einem zweiten Teil des Projektes werden die existierenden paläoseismologischen Daten der Schweiz in ein Model integriert und verschiedene Erdbebenszenarien mit möglichen Epizentren und Magnituden erstellt. Diese Ergebnisse werden mit dem Erdbebengefährdungsmodell der Schweiz verglichen.

Mit diesem Projekt erhoffen wir uns neue und wichtige Informationen über den Zusammenhang zwischen Ablagerungen in Seen und Erdbeben und somit neue Möglichkeiten der Quantifizierung von Paläoerdbeben. Diese Ergebnisse sind wichtig für eine neue Generation von Erdbebengefährdungskarten, die direkt von Politikern, Ämtern und der Bevölkerung benutzt werden.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.01.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
A subaqueous hazard map for earthquake-triggered landslides in Lake Zurich, Switzerland
Strupler M., Danciu L., Hilbe M., Kremer K., Anselmetti F. S., Strasser M., Wiemer S. (2018), A subaqueous hazard map for earthquake-triggered landslides in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, in Natural Hazards, 90(1), 51-78.
A subaqueous hazard map for earthquake-triggered landslides in Lake Zurich, Switzerland
Strupler Michael, Danciu Laurentiu, Hilbe Michael, Kremer Katrina, Anselmetti Flavio S, Strasser Michael, Wiemer Stefan (2018), A subaqueous hazard map for earthquake-triggered landslides in Lake Zurich, Switzerland, in Natural Hazards, 51-78.
Lake-sediment based paleoseismology: Limitations and perspectives from the Swiss Alps
Kremer Katrina, Wirth Stefanie B., Reusch Anna, Fäh Donat, Bellwald Benjamin, Anselmetti Flavio S., Girardclos Stéphanie, Strasser Michael (2017), Lake-sediment based paleoseismology: Limitations and perspectives from the Swiss Alps, in Quaternary Science Reviews, 168, 1-18.
Possible climate preconditioning on submarine landslides along a convergent margin, Nankai Trough (NE Pacific)
Kremer Katrina, Usman Muhammed O., Satoguchi Yasufumi, Nagahashi Yoshitaka, Vadakkepuliyambatta Sunil, Panieri Giuliana, Strasser Michael (2017), Possible climate preconditioning on submarine landslides along a convergent margin, Nankai Trough (NE Pacific), in Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, 4(1), 20.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Stéphanie Girardclos, Section of Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNIGE Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof Dr. Hans-Balder Havenith Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Dr. Flavio Anselmetti, Institut für Geologie, UNIBE Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Stefanie Wirth, CHYN Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Talk given at a conference Lake Tsunamis in Switzerland: From Causes to Hazard 01.12.2018 Bern, Switzerland Kremer Katrina;
Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Traces of the Ralligen Rockfall in Lake Thun 30.11.2018 Bern, Switzerland Kremer Katrina;
6th International Colloquium Historical Earthquakes, Paleoseismology, Neotectonics and Seismic Hazard Talk given at a conference The paleoseismological dataset of Switzerland 24.10.2018 Hans-sur-Less, Belgium Kremer Katrina;
6th International Colloquium Historical Earthquakes, Paleoseismology, Neotectonics and Seismic Hazard Poster Causes and hazard of lake tsunamis: a muldisciplinary approach from Swiss Lakes 24.10.2018 Hans-sur-Lesse, Belgium Kremer Katrina;
CH-Quat Talk given at a conference Sediments as archives of earthquakes and tsunamis 17.03.2018 Bern, Switzerland Kremer Katrina;
5th International Colloquium Historical Earthquakes, Paleoseismology, Neotectonics and Seismic Hazard Poster Sublacustrine paleoseismology: Limitations and perspectives from the Swiss Alps 11.10.2017 Hannover, Germany Kremer Katrina;
EGU 2017 Poster Turbidites as proxy for past flood events: testing this tool in a large clastic lake (Lake Geneva, Switzerland/France) 19.04.2017 Wien, Austria Kremer Katrina;
EGU 2017 Talk given at a conference Limitations and perspectives of sublacustrine paleoseismology: a Swiss example 19.04.2017 Wien, Austria Kremer Katrina;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Zukunftstag 2018 - Schulkinder zu Besuch im Limnogeologischen Labor Workshop 08.11.2018 Zürich, Switzerland Kremer Katrina;
Scientifica 2017 Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 01.09.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Kremer Katrina;
ETH - Tag MNG Rämibühl Workshop 07.02.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Kremer Katrina;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Un tsunami sur le Léman De Pierre-Yves Frei et Sandra Marongiu Presses Polytechnique et universitaires romandes Western Switzerland 2018
Media relations: radio, television Medientag zum Tsunami Projekt ARD Tagesschau International 2018
Media relations: radio, television Un tsunami sur le Léman Arte und RTS German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland International 2018
Other activities Scientifica 2017 Western Switzerland 2017

Abstract

Earthquake can initiate subaquatic mass transport and sediment deformation structures, the deposits of which are stored in the sedimentary archive. Due to their good preservation potential and improving dating methods, these earthquake-related deposits in the sedimentary archive of lakes can extend the earthquake catalogue back to prehistorical times. The determination of frequency, epicentre and magnitude of these paleoearthquakes can be a key input for improving a probabilistic seismic hazard model, especially in areas such as Switzerland where strong earthquakes have long recurrence rates and might not be recorded in historic times. In order to better interpret the prehistorical earthquake-related sedimentary record, it remains important to understand which historical earthquakes did trigger mass transport deposits and sediment deformation structures, and which earthquakes did not trigger secondary sedimentary effects in the lake basins. The proposed project is aimed to improve our fundamental understanding of which earthquakes, or what kind of shaking, leave traces in the sediments, in order to evaluate the completeness of the sublacustrine paleoseismological record, using Lake Thun as example. The Kander River Deviation into Lake Thun in 1714 AD can be traced over the entire lake basin and thus, represent a good stratigraphic marker to date the sediments. This deviation caused a ~ 6 time increase in sedimentation rate generating higher sensitivity to earthquakes, as it has been shown in a previous study. Since 1714 AD, several historical earthquakes triggered mass-transport deposits are recorded in Lake Thun. We propose to collect new data to cover the pre-1714 AD phase. Furthermore, by modelling the isoseismic maps of the historical earthquakes for the periods covered by the studied sediments, the intensity threshold ranges for mass transport and sediment deformation structures will be determined. The second aim of this project, directly linked to the first one, is to compare the paleoseismological record with the contemporary national seismic hazard model of Switzerland, updated in 2015. Thus, using the intensity ranges determined in the first part of this project and using the paleoseismic database of Switzerland a systematic analysis of frequencies, sources and magnitudes of possible paleoearthquakes will be compared to time series produced by the seismic hazard model of Switzerland. This allows a sanity check on the hazard model using ‘precariously balanced slopes’, much in the same way that in the US, precariously balanced rocks have been used.
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