Project Title: 4D geomorphological-thermo-mechanical modelling of orocline evolution.

Supervisor: Taras Gerya, Jean-Pierre Burg

Objectives: To create and explore 4-D (space-time) geomorphological-thermo-mechanical (GmTM) models of oroclines to understand the dynamics of long-term lithospheric-upper mantle deformation and related topography in curved orogenic systems. To develop understanding of subduction initiation and dynamics and its geological and topographic expressions in the orocline region. The project will use self-consistent 4D GmTM numerical models in which lithospheric-upper mantle thermo-mechanical processes are coupled to crustal tectonics and topography development. 4D topographic evolution and tectonic processes associated with subduction initiation will be investigated and compared to natural cases, including the Gibraltar-Alboran orocline, using geological and geophysical information.

Expected Results: Enhanced understanding of orocline evolution, with constraints on crustal and deeper-seated earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis in orogenically confined environments. Insight into the dynamics of the seismically active westernmost Mediterranean region.

Academic secondment: Collaboration with F. Gueydan, University of Montpellier. Visit once a year to or from ETH to discuss and implement geological constraints on the Gibraltar arc and the Betics into numerical experiments, in return to orientate new geological investigations in the light of latest models. Industry secondment: AF-Consult Switzerland Ltd on modelling of fluid flows in rocks, 3 months to introduce ESR to the use of fluid flow modelling for industrial and environmental purposes.

Links to other projects: Thematic links with ESR1,2,3,5,6,7,13 and 15 through focus on subduction initiation and lithosphere response with consequences for surface evolution; ESR5,10 and 12, give site-specific constraints.