SlowFaults International Research Project

Unravelling slow fault slip combining seismology geodesy and numerical models

Participants (FR) : CNRS, Université de Strasbourg, Université Grenoble Alpes & École Normale Supérieure de Paris

Participants (US) : Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The IRP “Slowfaults” project aims to explore the diversity of slip modes on faults, and more particularly slow slips in different tectonic contexts (subduction and continental faults), with the long-term objective of participating in a best estimate of the seismic hazard in these fault zones.

By combining information from micro-seismicity, surface deformation measurements measured by space geodesy (GNSS and InSAR), and digital modeling, this project will make it possible to characterize, in time and space, the slow or rapids (earthquakes) on faults, and to explore the parameters controlling these slip modes. This understanding contributes to a better estimate of the seismic hazard associated with the faults studied.

The IRP Slowfaults team arises from the collaboration between five researchers from French and American laboratories at MIT since 2015 with 7 joint publications and a history of joint projects.

The SlowFaults IRP aims to strengthen a multidisciplinary team of researchers in France (ISTerre, University of Grenoble, Laboratory of Geology, ENS Paris, Institut Terre & Environnement de Strasbourg (ITES) in Strasbourg) and in the United States (Department Earth , Atmospheric and Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) to study the role of slow slip in the seismic cycle, to develop new approaches that rely on the analysis of tiny earthquakes that act as in situ markers of slow sliding. By combining geodetic and seismic data, the team hopes to capture the dynamics of slow slides at a higher resolution than would be possible with geodesy alone, and constrain the physics of these slow slides via numerical models.

Institutions and laboratories involved :

  • Institute of Earth Sciences (ISTerre), University Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble UMR 5275
  • Geology Laboratory, Department of Geosciences, École Normale Supérieure, Paris UMR8538
  • Strasbourg Earth & Environment Institute (ITES), CNRS, Strasbourg UMR7063
  • Department Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary
  • Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Strasbourg University
  • Université Grenoble Alpes
  • École Normale Supérieure


  • Coordinator France, Mathilde Radiguet
  • Coordinator USA, William Franck


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