Paris, 21 November 2014

Erosion may trigger earthquakes

Researchers from laboratories at Géosciences Rennes1 (CNRS/Université de Rennes 1) , Géosciences Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier 2) and Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (CNRS/IPGP/Université Paris Diderot), in collaboration with a scientist in Taiwan, have shown that surface processes, i.e. erosion and sedimentation, may trigger shallow earthquakes (less than five kilometers deep) and favor the rupture of large deep earthquakes up to the surface. Although plate tectonics was generally thought to be the only persistent mechanism able to influence fault activity, it appears that surface processes also increase stresses on active faults, such as those in Taiwan, one of the world's most seismic regions. The work is published in Nature Communications on 21 November 2014.

To download the press release : Cp-érosion et séisme


1 The Géosciences Rennes laboratory is part of the Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Rennes


Erosion influences the seismicity of active thrust faults, Steer, P., Simoes, M., Cattin, R. and Shyu, J. B. H., Nature Communications, 21 November 2014. DOI : 10.1038/ncomms6564.


Researcher l Philippe Steer l T + 33 2 23 23 42 65 l
CNRS Press Office l Alexiane Agullo l T + 33 1 44 96 51 51 l


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