General information

Module title Palaeoseismology
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Małgorzata Pisarska-Jamroży; dr Wojciech Stawikowski
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position professor UAM
Faculty Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 15


Module aim (aims)

· The course is addressed to wide audience, representing not only Earth Sciences (geology, geography, environmental protection, etc.) but it also expected to bring interest of students of archaeology, tourism and other human sciences · It is aimed to give in a student-friendly way an insight into fundamental knowledge on earthquake processes in the recent past:- the mechanisms, which stand behind these catastrophic, but fascinating natural seismic phenomena- the record of earthquakes in sedimentary rocks (especially of Quaternary age)– seismites: rock documents of ancient earthquakes- identification and characterization of past earthquakes from geo-archives-establishing the seismic history of a given fault structure or given region from deformed sediments · The subject presents also wider aspect of natural seismic processes: the role and record of earthquakes in human historical and cultural heritage, as well as economic and social influence of disastrous seismic events will be discussed

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Basic knowledge in Earth sciences (secondary school level)


Week 1: Why do the earthquakes form? Basics of geodynamics of the Earth. Tectonic processes on the Earth, it regional diversity and distribution of seismic events (2 h) Week 2: Seismic events in the context of volcanic, diastrophic and isostatic processes. (1 h)Methods of palaeoseismological research. (1 h) Week 3: Palaeoseismic events in the global geological record (1 h) Earthquakes in history of human civilization: evidence in nature and material culture. (1 h) Week 4: Earthquake trigger-mechanisms. Differences between liquefaction and fluidization. Definition, description and classification of seismites (2 h) Week 5: Soft-sediment deformation structures (SSDS) development in seismic and aseismic settings. Loadcasting. Types and morphology seismites. (2 h) Week 6: Seismites – periglacial/cryoturbation structures – glaciotectonic structures: similarities and differences (1 h) Landslides caused by earthquakes (1h) Week 7: Glacioisostasy and glacio-isostatic rebound. Pleistocene earthquakes. Seismites in different parts of Europe (1h). Effects of earthquakes: social, economic and environmental (e.g. tsunamis) (1h)

Reading list

· McAlpin J. 2009. Paleoseismology. Pp. 848. Academic Press.· Selected papers recommended by lecturers.