Task Forces 2002-2006

Task force 6.1.4 - Crustal Deformation

Chair Dr. Stathis Stiros, Greece
Email: stiros@upatras.gr

Task Force 6.1.4 was newly formed after the 11th International Symposium held on Santorini Island in May 2003. Dr. Stathis Stiros, from Patras University, Athens, Greece, put forward a proposal to form a task force for the purpose of studying the crustal deformations due to plate boundaries, magma movement and volcanic eruptions. This task force is just newly formed and the proposed areas of study are laid out here.

This Task Force will consist of a small number (~4-8) of research centers in different parts of the world, and its main aims will be:

  • The identification of a few promising study areas, on the basis of their seismo-tectonic history and the availability of geodetic data
  • The collection and analysis of existing historical and modern geodetic and other data (satellite, triangulation, trilateration, spirit levelling, tilt data, tide-gauge data, etc.)
  • The encouragement of new, repeat surveys in the study areas
  • The adaptation of techniques and methodologies permitting an easy and approximate comparison between older, low accuracy data with modern data

This work, which will be based on data that currently exists, is expected to contribute to answers to certain of the following problems:

  • How does the rate of deformation change with time in test areas over periods 100-102 years long? Are current rates representative of longer-term ones?
  • Why apparent high rates of deformation are/have been observed in certain tectonically quiescent areas? Does this reflect measurement or geotechnical (near-surface effects) noise, or real effects? In this last case, what might be their implications?
  • Will a comparison of historical data and of data to be collected in the future permit to model certain old earthquakes, etc?
  • What is the reason for the discrepancies in the parameters of seismic faulting deduced from geodetic and seismological or other data- do such discrepancies reflect errors in certain type of data or over-simplifications in their modelling?
  • Are elastic deformation models suitable for all crustal deformation studies, or should geophysical studies also involve elasto-plastic, thermo-elastic or numerical analysis models in cases of specific geologic structures and environments (for instance volcanoes, etc.)?

Obviously, these problems are very important and complex, and cannot be answered by a small group of people. However, it is expected that a Task Force in the framework of FIG 6.1 will permit to bring to light and analyse very useful data and to inspire various researchers to investigate problems ignored so far; this will accelerate research in certain fields of crustal deformation and elucidate some at least of these matters. Anyone wishing to participate and contribute to Task Force 6.1.4 should contact Dr. Stathis Stiros, email: stiros@upatras.gr