Earthquake surface ruptures, paleo-earthquake time series, as well as geometry, growth and propagation of active faults have long been major points of interest of our lab. We now explore in more depth the factors that control the geometry and kinematics of fault systems, growing from their initiation to the organization of large scale structures. Important focus is the reciprocal interactions between successive earthquakes and the evolution of fault geometry; for example, how dynamic rupture affects fault geometry through damage or branching, or how fault geometry may control earthquake rupture and the occurrence of earthquake sequences.
At ocean-continent subduction interfaces, there is a fundamental partitioning between the mechanisms leading to elastic strain accumulation and release during megathrust earthquakes, and processes that lead to deformation of the upper plate generating topographic relief.
We address this problem by focusing onto a few examples, amongst these:
- The Andean subduction margin.
- The Caribbean subduction where megathrust rupture potential is unknown, and active deformation of the upper plate needs further study.
- The Hellenic subduction and the Aegean, where the irruption of the North Anatolian Fault a few million years ago appears to have accelerated dramatically rates of plate convergence across the subduction interface.