Faculté des sciences

Aseismic deformation in the Alps: GPS vs. seismic strain quantification

Sue, Christian ; Delacou, Bastien ; Champagnac, Jean-Daniel ; Allanic Cecile ; Burkhard, Martin

In: Terra Nova, 2007, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 182-188

Neotectonics of the Western and Central Alps is characterized by ongoing widespread extension in the highest zones of the chain and transcurrent/compressive tectonics at the external limits of the belt. The overall geodetically measured deformations also indicate extension across the Western Alps. There is a good qualitative coherency between seismotectonic and geodetic approaches. Here we... Plus

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    Summary
    Neotectonics of the Western and Central Alps is characterized by ongoing widespread extension in the highest zones of the chain and transcurrent/compressive tectonics at the external limits of the belt. The overall geodetically measured deformations also indicate extension across the Western Alps. There is a good qualitative coherency between seismotectonic and geodetic approaches. Here we attempt to quantify the seismic part of the deformation. The seismic strain is compared to the deformation derived from geodesy. In sub-areas of homogeneous seismic stress/strain, we computed the total seismic moment tensor and related strain tensor. This study provides new quantitative elements about the ongoing geodynamic processes in the alpine belt. The important discrepancies obtained between seismic strains and geodetically-measured deformations raise the issue of aseismic deformation in the Alps, which could be related to elastic loading, creeping and/or a slower ductile-style deformation.