Project #1

Earthquake timing in complex fault zones: new approaches in paleoseismology

Main Supervisor: Maria Ortuno (UB)
Co-Supervisor: Lucilla Benedetti (CNRS-CEREGE)

Location:Universitat de Barcelona (Spain) –

Duration of the PhD: 3 years

The doctoral candidate will be enrolled in a PhD program at the Universitat de Barcelona.

Objectives: This project aims at improving earthquake chronologies (EQ-Chronologies) with the use of advanced techniques to detect and date paleoearthquakes at a better resolution. Two main types of paleoseismological methods will be used: trenching across a fault and dating of exhumed portions of bedrock scarps. We will test for the first time the hyperspectral imagery (HIS) in paleoseismological studies of active seismogenic faults. Dating events by a more precise location of the bracketing units and the use of advanced chronological techniques (violet stimulated luminescence, 36Cl and U-Th combination, OSL in quartz grain of the fault breccia). Those approaches will improve the spatial resolution of paleoseismological records. The high-resolution DEMs (derived from LiDAR and drone photogrammetry) will help improving the mapping of different fault segments. The expected definition of completer chronologies will allow to better understand the behaviour of the studied faults in the three-particular case-studies (normal faults at the Apennines and the Catalan Coastal ranges and oblique reverse-strike slip faults at the Eastern Betics), serving as a reference for future studies worldwide. Main issues discussed are the characteristics of the seismic cycles, synchronic behaviour among faults and possible triggered events, contributing to a better understanding of the fault system inter-dependencies.

Expected Results:

  1. High resolution paleo-earthquake record in two different types of tectonic settings;
  2. Workflow for paleoseismological studies to improve paleoearthquake identification and dating resolution.

Planned secondments: CNRS (8 months, L. Benedetti, M8-13 & M18-19, Study of bedrock scarps in the Apennines, dating of bedrock scarps with 36Cl and U-Th and OSL); HZDR (3 months, M. Kirsch, M16 & M21-22, Analysis of hyperspectral images acquired in the paleoseismological campaigns.