Current Research Projects


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    Modelling subduction and earthquake dynamics

    We couple a geodynamic seismic cycle model to a dynamic rupture model to resolve subduction and earthquake dynamics across timescales. Both events are comparable in terms of nucleation and material-dependent stress drop, but not slip. Submitted to JGR: Solid Earth. Preprint on EarthArXiv.

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    Intermediate depth earthquakes & bending-related faults

    Our global survey demonstrates a correlation between bending faults in the incoming plate and the seismicity rate of intermediate depth earthquakes. We use fault throw as a proxy for overall fault damage and the ability of water to hydrate the incoming plate. Submitted to GRL.

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    September 28, 2018 Palu, Sulawesi event

    We show that the earthquake displacements of the 2018 strike-slip earthquake in Palu, Sulawesi were critical to the ensuing tsunami by using coupled dynamic rupture and tsunami propagation and inundation models.

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    Benchmark for earthquake - tsunami simulations

    We are developing a benchmark setup with the ASCETE project for a subduction zone seismic cycle model coupled to a dynamic rupture model of a single earthquake, then coupled to a tsunami propagation and inundation model. Elizabeth Madden (LMU Munich, Munich, Germany) is taking the lead on this project.

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    Tectonics & tsunamigenesis

    We complement a global earthquake database that contains subduction zone characteristics (Heuret et al., 2011) with tsunami data. We statistically analyse the database to identify tectonic parameters that affect tsunamigenesis. To assess the causality, we resort to numerical modelling.

  • Mega-earthquakes & sediment thickness

    Brizzi et al., (GRL, in review) found that subduction mega-earthquakes favour long subduction zones with high sediment supply. They used multivariate statistics on a global subduction zone characteristics database. To further assess the correlation and possible causality between mega-earthquakes and sediment thickness at the trench, numerical models are developed for a parameter study into sediment thickness in subduction zones. This project is in collaboration with Silvia Brizzi (first author), and Francesca Funiciello (Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy).

  • The role of off-fault plasticity in realistic subduction zone settings

    Simulations of subduction zone earthquakes based on purely elastic seafloor displacements typically underestimate the potential seafloor displacement and hence the ensuing tsunami. We use dynamic rupture simulations to analyse whether plastic energy dissipation is a missing rheological component that could account for larger surface displacements. This project is in collaboration with Stephanie Wollherr (first author), Alice-Agnes Gabriel, Elizabeth Madden, and Thomas Ulrich (LMU Munich, Munich, Germany).

  • Stresses of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake

    A series of 3D dynamic rupture models along the plate interface that hosted the 2004 M 9.1-9.3 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake is explored to assess the influence of different initial stress conditions. The STM code provides one of the initial stress conditions from a 2D numerical setup of the hypocenter of the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake. The dynamic rupture models suggest high fluid pressures and low differential stress for this earthquake. This project is in collaboration with Elizabeth Madden (first author), Thomas Ulrich, and Alice-Agnes Gabriel (LMU Munich, Munich, Germany).

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