Short-term tectonics: Physics-based inversion of geophysical data
Large-scale inelastic properties of the lithosphere can be probed using modern geodesy techniques (InSAR and GPS) by measuring the slow deformation that follows earthquakes and changes in lake water level.
Large earthquakes on megathrusts perturb the stress of the lithosphere at great depths and provide an opportunity to add constraints to the upper-mantle viscosity and the partition between distributed (bulk flow) and localized (shear zones) deformation. A quantitative comparison between time series of deformation and predictive models can help constrain the mechanical properties of the subsurface. Other important aspects of lithosphere and fault-zone dynamics that need to be better resolved include the role of fluids, the contribution of various micro-mechanisms of deformation (for example, dislocation vs. diffusion creep), and the degree of localization in the lower crust.
The goal of this project is to indentify the mechanical properties of the lithosphere at large scale, to assess of the long-term deformation affects the evolution of the earthquake cycle.