ACTIVE TECTONICS

Within the frame of the international projects CELEBRATION 2000, ALP 2002, and ALPASS the Research Group Geophysics took part, partly as pricipal investigator, in the exploration of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle since about 2000. Reviews of the outcome of these considerable efforts are provided e.g., by Brückl (2011) and Brückl and Hammerl (2014) verlinkt. The most relevant publications of members of the Research Group Geophysics to this topic can be found in the reference list below. The analysis of the structure of the Moho discontinuity and the upper mantle led to the development of a plate tectonic model of the Eastern Alps valid for the time since the collision between Adria and Europe and the close of the Penninic Ocean (e.g., Brückl & Hammerl, 2014).

Figure: Plate tectonic model of the evolution of the Eastern Alps since Oligocene. Details in Brückl & Hammerl, 2014.

Monitoring of actual tectonic processes supplies the data, from which we are able to decide if the current kinematics proposed by the plate tectonic model shown above is still valid, or if the general deformation regime changes during very recent times. The projekt ALPAACT (Seismological and geodetic monitoring of ALpine-PAnnonian ACtive Tectonics) was a first step into this direction. The efforts started with ALPAACT will be continued within the frame of the Sparkling Science project SCHOOLS & QUAKES. This project started on 1st October 2014. The seismological research aspects of SCHOOLS & QUAKES are pursued by a cooperation with the seismological service of the ZAMG (Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie  und Geodynamik). The geodetic component of the project is provided by the Research Group Advanced Geodesy of our department. The following animation intends to visualize the monitoring efforts within SCHOOLS & QUAKES.

The main research goals within „Active Tectonics“ are:
•    Precisely locate hypocenters to delineate seismically active faults.
•    Determine focal mechanisms to reveal stress regime.
•    Reduce earthquake detection limit to improve the Gutenberg-Richter statistics.
•    Establish long term and continuous GPS / GNSS-time series to reveal plate tectonic kinematics.
•    Quantify slip deficits and seismic inactive deformations.
•    Constrain MCE (maximum credible eathquake).
For the near future we will keep at the Mürz Valley and Vienna Basin fault system as the main target area.