Faulting and Earthquake Cycles
When and where do large earthquakes happen?
How do faults work – at all levels of the subduction system?
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Anticipating the timing of major earthquakes and which fault segments present the greatest hazard has long been a challenge in subduction zone science. At the largest spatial scale, deformation throughout the subduction system is coupled in space and time, and novel geodetic and seismologic observations made possible by the emergence of offshore instrumentation is poised to help us unravel these connections. At the smallest spatial scale, deformation processes control how rocks respond to the boundary conditions, whether by faulting or distributed flow, and how faults slip, whether by seismogenic slip, aseismic creep, or intermediate behaviors.
Understanding these processes requires new laboratory experiments designed to determine the properties of complex rocks that experience complex histories and investigations of rocks exhumed from fossil systems to ground-truth these measurements and observations. Finally, relating the processes by which rocks deform locally to the spatial and temporal evolution of the system requires numerical models validated by structural images from active source seismic, MT, bathymetric data, and modern surface techniques (LiDAR, paleoseismology). The focus of this interest group is to design integrated SZ4D experiments and efforts to address the questions of when and where earthquakes happen in subduction zones.
Which subduction zone segments are more likely to produce big earthquakes and what properties govern that likelihood?
How do subduction zone fault systems interact in space and time? How do these fault systems and associated deformation regulate subduction zone evolution and structure?
What controls the speed and mode of slip in space and time?
Does distinctive precursory slip or distinctive foreshocks exist before earthquakes? What causes either foreshocks or precursory slip?
Under what physical conditions and by what processes will rapid slip during an earthquake displace the seafloor and increase the likelihood of generating a significant tsunami?
Working Group Members
Noel Bartlow University of Kansas
Susan Beck University of Arizona
Magali Billen UC Davis
*Emily Brodsky UC Santa Cruz
*Roland Burgmann UC Berkley
Eric Dunham Stanford
William Frank MIT
*Melodie French Rice University
Alice Gabriel LMU Munich/UC San Diego
Thorne Lay UC Santa Cruz
Jeff McGuire US Geological Survey
Samer Naif LDEO/GeorgiaTech
*Andrew Newman Georgia Tech
Summer Ohlendorf NOAA/National Tsunami Warning Center
Christine Regalla Northern Arizona University
Demian Saffer UTIG
*Donna Shillington Northern Arizona University
*Harold Tobin University of Washington
Daniel Viete Johns Hopkins University
*Doug Wiens Washington University
Rob Witter US Geological Survey
* Steering Committee Member