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Seismic deformation – past and present (pseudotachylyte)

Seismic deformation occurs at slip rates >0.1 m/s over time scales that typically span a few seconds to minutes (i.e., the duration of seismic events). Note, at these time scales, physical processes overshadow chemical processes.


I am particularly interested in coseismic deformation at the earthquake focus (a.k.a., hypocenter) because this is where rupture initiated and where we can study rupture mechanisms.


Therefore, I investigate fault zones around the world where seismic rupture took place million years ago or in the recent past.


My approach combines microstructural methods applied to mineral grains with unique magnetic methods to unravel the physical parameters of earthquakes.


Pseudotachylyte injection vein cutting through previous pseudotachylyte generation vein, Val Gilba, Italy (Zechmeister et al., 2007)


2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, China  - courtesy (Zhang et al., in press)


2008 Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, China - courtesy (Zhang et al., in press)

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