Project #6

Formation of fault damage zones in carbonates and their role in the seismic cycle

Main Supervisor: Giulio Di Toro (UNIPD), Alice Gabriel (LMU)
Co-Supervisor: Faccenda (UNIPD)

Location: Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy) Рwww.unipd.it

Duration of the PhD: 3 years

The doctoral candidate will be enrolled in a PhD program at the Università degli Studi di Padova

Objectives: The doctoral candidate will exploit the rich dataset already available at UNIPD of field studies regarding the spatial distribution of fault damage zones in active faults of the Italian Central Apennines and perform other few selected studies. By means of dynamic rupture earthquake as well as seismic sequence modelling simulations, the mechanism of formation and spatial distribution of fault damage zones will be discussed with respect to (1) the maximum magnitude of the earthquake associated to the studied fault, (2) fault geometry (length, presence of step overs, etc.), (3) lithology of the wall rocks. The earthquake modelling simulations will exploit powerful computational facilities and numerical models (e.g., the discontinuous Galerkin method) which will integrate frictional constitutive laws obtained from the laboratory with realistic fault zone geometries. This approach will result in the identification of the physical, geological and loading conditions which control the propagation of seismic ruptures and the formation and distribution of fault damage zones. Computational facilities are available at UNIPD and LMU both for development, benchmarking and testing of the methodology. This PhD position will provide a young researcher with a quite unique background spanning from field geology to sophisticated numerical modelling. Additional research stays at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, are possible.

Expected Results:

  1. Mechanism of formation of fault damage zones;
  2. How the presence of damage zones affects individual seismic ruptures and the evolution of seismic sequences;
  3. How the presence of damage zones affects the near field seismic wave radiation and associated strong ground motions.

Planned secondments: LMU (12 months, Alice Gabriel, M13-18 M25-30, physically-based 3D fully dynamic simulations of individual earthquakes and of the seismic cycle with the discontinuous Galerkin method (this code allow treating complex 3D geological structures, nonlinear rheologies (including off-fault plastic yielding) and high-order accurate propagation of seismic waves: https://github.com/SeisSol/SeisSol and https://tear-erc.github.io/tandem-egu21/).