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Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg

Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences

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Details of Master Thesis Topic (Module D):
Multiscale 3D Fault Patterns and their Role for Seismic Activity in Switzerland

Master Thesis title: Multiscale 3D Fault Patterns and their Role for Seismic Activity in Switzerland
Description:Although not being a high-risk country, Switzerland experiences several hundred earthquakes a year because of the still stressed lithosphere. Given the Alpine orogeny, we know that the crustal structure is tectonically pervasively dissected by faults, reaching from the tens of kilometers down to the meter scale. Currently it is poorly understood how these preconditioned fault patterns control ambient seismic activity. SeismoTeCH, a project conducted by the Swiss Geophysical Commission (led by swisstopo, Swiss Seismological Survey and University of Bern) will unravel this link, providing opportunities for MSc students to participate. One important question to be solved is: Can near surface fault patterns be used to explain seismicity at depth?

Based on remote sensing techniques and fieldwork (aerial photos, DEMs, drone images, ShapeMetrix3D), multi-scale fault maps will be generated and transferred into 3D structural models (MOVE). By fieldwork, deformation style, kinematics and paleo-stresses of individual faults will quantitatively be investigated. This part of the project is supervised by the Structural Geology group of University of Bern. In collaboration with the team from the Swiss Seismological Survey (Tobias Diehl, Federica Lanza), and Sandro Truttmann, obtained results will then be compared and analysed in terms of recent seismic activity. There is opportunity for different MSc projects since studies can be conducted in a variety of field areas ranging from the Valais to the Grisons.
Advisors:Prof. Marco Herwegh
Specialities:ERG, GEOL
University: BE

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