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Yann Klinger, SGF Pierre Pruvost Award

Yann Klinger, SGF Pierre Pruvost Award

Publication date: 02/06/2021

Awards and Distinctions, Institute Life, Press, Research

Yann Klinger, director of research at the CNRS and head of the tectonics and mechanics of the lithosphere team at the IPGP, has been awarded the Pierre Pruvost prize by the Société Géologique de France (SGF), for his work on active faults and the dynamics of seismic rupture, combining field characterisation and satellite imagery.

This prize, founded by Pierre Pruvost in 1960, was initially intended to reward a geology dissertation or thesis defended in the last five years and chosen from among the best. The prize is now awarded for work on structural geology and tectonics.

In recent years, Yann Klinger’s work has focused on the interactions between fault network geometry and earthquakes. Fault geometry has a direct effect on the way in which earthquakes start, stop and, for example, the speed of rupture during an earthquake (whether supershear is possible or not), and therefore ultimately on the entire seismic cycle. At the same time, each individual earthquake modifies the geometry of the fault system it ruptures. So there is a constant back and forth between these two aspects.

Over the past few years, he has therefore been working to accurately document the trace of surface rupture associated with major continental earthquakes, whether contemporary (such as the Mw7.8 Kunlun earthquake in China in 2001) or ancient (such as the M8 Bulnai earthquake in Mongolia in 1905, the M8 Fuyun earthquake in 1931, or the M7.8 Gobi Altay earthquake in 1957).
He was one of the first to adopt very high resolution optical satellite imagery (resolution <1m on the ground) and to make widespread use of it. This has enabled it to develop a new way of doing palaeoseismology ‘by satellite’ that complements what can be done elsewhere in the field.

In parallel with this mapping work, and in collaboration with his colleagues at the IPGP and the IGN, they have adapted aerial image processing tools for use in the earth sciences, which can now be used to measure surface deformations in 3D by correlating optical images with unequalled precision. In particular, the resolution of the deformation maps that can be produced means that new aspects of seismic rupture can be explored, with a better understanding of deformation localised on the fault and deformation distributed around the fault.

Among the most recent results, their study of the Baluchistan earthquake (M7.6, Pakistan) has shown the difference between near-field and far-field deformation, as well as the impact of the geological fabric on the way seismic rupture occurs. The work on the Kaikoura earthquake (M7.8, New Zealand), for which image correlation measurements, combined with field observations and numerical modelling of the rupture, have enabled us to propose a rupture propagation scheme that is quite different from what was initially proposed, and which now seems to be the subject of consensus.

New developments are currently underway on the image correlation chain, which is being used more and more by the entire scientific community. Yann Klinger and his team are also continuing to document surface ruptures for major continental earthquakes in order to acquire as much good quality data as possible.

Some recent bibliographical references:

  • Choi J.H., Klinger Y., Ferry M., Ritz J.F., Kurtz R., Rizza M., Bollinger L., Davaasambuu B., Tsend-Ayush N., Demberel S., Geologic inheritance and earthquake rupture processes: The 1905 M ≥ 8 Tsetserleg-Bulnay strike-slip earthquake sequence, Mongolia. J. Geophys. Res.: Solid Earth, 123, doi: 10.1002/2017JB013962, 2018.
  • Delorme A., Grandin R., Klinger Y., Pierrot-Deseilligny M., Feuillet N., Jacques E., Rupnik E., Morishita Y. Complex deformation at shallow depth during the 30 October 2016 Mw6.5 Norcia earthquake: Interference between tectonic and gravity processes? Tectonics, 39, e2019TC005596, doi : 10.1029/2019TC005596., 2020.
  • Klinger Y., Okubo K., Vallage A., Champenois J., Delorme A., Rougier E., Lei. Z., Knight E., Munjiza A., Satriano C., Baize S., Langridge R., Bhat H., Earthquake damage patterns resolve complex rupture processes. Geophys. Res. Let. at 45, doi :10.1029/2018GL078842, 2018.
  • Klinger Y., Etchebes M., Tapponnier P., Narteau C., Characteristic slip for five great earthquakes along the Fuyun fault in China. Nature Geoscience, 4, 389-392, doi:10.1038/ngeo1158, 2011.
  • Klinger Y., Relation between continental strike-slip earthquake segmentation and thickness of the crust. J. Geophys. Res. 115, B07306, doi:10.1029/2009JB006550, 2010.
  • Klinger Y., Xu X., Tapponnier P., Van der Woerd J., Lasserre C., King G. High-resolution satellite imagery mapping of the surface rupture and slip distribution of the Mw ~7.8, 14 november 2001 Kokoxili earthquake, Kunlun fault, northern Tibet, China. Bull. Seis. Soc. 95 (5),1970-1987, 2005.
  • Kurtz, R. Klinger Y., Ferry M. , Ritz J.-F., Horizontal surdface-slip distribution through several seismic cycles : The Eastern Bogd fault, Gobi-Altai, Mongolia. Tectonophysics, 734-735, p167-182, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2018.03.011, 2018.
  • Vallage A., Klinger Y., Lacassin R., Delorme A., Pierrot-Deseilligny M., Geological structures control on earthquake ruptures: the Mw7.7, 2013 Balochistan earthquake, Pakistan. Geophys. Res. Lett. 43, doi :10.1002/2016GL070418, 2016.
  • Vallage A., Klinger Y., Grandin R., Bhat H.S., Pierrot-Deseilligny M., Inelastic surface deformation during the 2013 Mw7.7 Balochistan, Pakistan, earthquake. Geology, 43(12), 1079-1082, doi :10.1130/G37290.1. 2015
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