Wednesday, 25 January 2017

When the earth shakes...

To start the new year with a bang, on January 5, the educational board of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels organised a workshop for children from 8-12 years old, titled “When the Earth Shakes”... In order to secure our next generation of geologists, or even earthquake/tsunami scientists, the kids were immersed in the world of megathrust faults, seismicity, tsunami waves and their destructive consequences. This interactive day of seismic exploration covered the theoretical basics, but also tons of fun examples and activities. Not only were the children invited to design earthquake-proof buildings and use a handcoring device in the museum's garden, they could generate mini-tsunamis in a wavetank too, only to be topped off by the construction of their own seismometers… from scratch!
In the afternoon, they visited the Geological Survey of Belgium, where Vanessa Heyvaert and Evelien Boes introduced everyone to the principle of tsunami deposits in coastal lakes. The children learned about fieldwork, and how we can collect sediment cores from the bottoms of lakes. Afterwards, they had the chance to take a good look at (and even feel) the striking tsunami deposit from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in a sediment core from a pond in Khao Lak, Thailand. And if that was not doing the trick, a quick gaze through the microscope at sand from the 1755 Lisbon Tsunami definitely awoke the children’s inner geologists.  

Overall, it was a very instructive and successful day. A big round of applause for the members of the educational board of the museum for their inexhaustible enthusiasm is more than deserved!   
Our faith in the future seismologic community remains unshaken (pun intended…)!  

Coring in the garden

That's how an earthquake wave propagates!

Building a house from LEGO...

and verify if it can withstand a shake table earthquake

Making a seismometer is a serious job! 

At the Geological Survey, learning about tsunami deposits in lakes

It's captivating!

Looking at the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami deposits...

and touching it
Playing with the microscope, like real scientists

THE wavetank

Time for a tsunami! Or 20...

2016 Mount Fuji Research Institute Symposium

The 2016 Mount Fuji Research Institute Symposium took place on 22 January 2017, in the civic center of Fujiyoshida, Japan. M. De Batist, A. Hubert-Ferrari, Y. Yokoyama, S. Obrochta and Y. Yamamoto participated to the event and explained how the studies conducted on the Fuji Five Lakes, in the framework of the QuakeRecNankai project, could contribute to better understanding the eruption history of Mount Fuji. The symposium was aimed at the general public, and every seat in the civic center was taken during this full-day event, which ended with a lively Q&A session between the public and the speakers. Also the press and national TV were present.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A Royal Visit

M. De Batist and V. Heyvaert were part of the Ghent University delegation that accompanied the Belgian Royal Family last week on their State Visit to Japan. At the University of Tokyo, the Ghent University delegation met with the Japanese project partners of AIST and the University of Tokyo, and with the Executive Vice President of the University of Tokyo and discussed the modalities of a cooperation agreement between the University of Tokyo and Ghent University for educational purposes, and of a Letter of Intent between Ghent University, the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, the University of Tokyo and AIST for scientific collaboration in geohazard research.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

New paper on the Nankai Trough

The first paper from the QuakeRecNankai project has recently been published in Earth-Science Reviews. We've collated, translated and summarised a wide range of publications which provide evidence for past earthquakes and tsunamis along the Nankai Trough, south central Japan. 

Monday, 16 November 2015

The survey of Lake Kawaguchi is already done !

We finished the coring in Lake Kawaguchi, it was a real success!  Lake Kawaguchi is a shallow lake with a maximum depth of 12 m. It is characterized by three sub-basins – Western, central and East basins. We investigated two sites, one in the western basin and one in the central basin.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Fuji Five Lake survey has started !

On Monday, the platform arrived from Hamana-ko to Kawaguchi-ko. At the end of the day, we were ready to core. The aim of the survey is to get long cores from the Fuji Five Lakes in order to retrieve the seismic history of the Nankai Through. During this month, we will investigate Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Motosu and Lake Sai. We will spend one week in Lake Kawaguchi and Lake Sai. Our best target is the Lake Motosu where we will be for two weeks. This year, we decide to not investigate Lake Yamanaka for several reasons. Lake Yamanaka is very close to Fuji volcano and highly exposed to eruptions. The study of the 1998 old borehole revealed a lot of scoria layers and we were not sure that our equipment could go through them. Because our coring system was struck in Hoei scoria (1707A.D.), the age of short cores taken last year is relatively well constrained. In 300 years, Lake Yamanaka has not recorded any turbidites. This is why, this year, we will focus on the other three lakes. In our long cores, we expect to find turbidites triggered by earthquake that allow us to compare the earthquake fingerprint of each lake… But first, we need to hammer!

The platform on Lake Kawaguchi

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Every end is a new beginning

Our working days on coastal Lake Hamana are now definitively over. The platform has been relocated to the Fuji area, where coring operations on Lake Kawaguchi were started.  

Unfortunately, we did not succeed in retrieving all missing core sections on site 3 and site 4 of Lake Hamana, since very strong winds threw a spanner in the works and we were not able to sail out during the last two days. Nevertheless, we now possess sediment samples up to a depth of 9 m below the lake floor, from four different locations along a N-S transect throughout the central basin. Such transect allows us to map the extent and lateral variations of tsunami deposits, which will be traced by executing a series of sedimentological, geophysical and geochemical analyses.

But first… our cores have to be shipped back to Belgium. This will be done at the end of November, after the Fuji survey is finished as well.

Sneak peaks of Mount Fuji from Lake Hamana