Neotectonics, active faults and landforms

For earthquake prediction, hazard assessment for the society, for tunneling and underground excavation as well as for geothermal purposes the prediction of active fault zones with surface ruptures is extremely important. The recognition of active fault zones is usually achieved by surface observations on peculiar landforms in seismically active areas, where a surface rupture may develop during an earthquake reaching a magnitude of 6 and more. From such observations on peculiar landforms past motion along faults can be recognized, and – under specific circumstances – type and amount of displacement of surface motion can be determined. Many fault zones are seismically silent (no earthquake) or the recurrence interval of large earthquakes may be very large and thus fail detection by the historical record. The planned project aims at the development of to develop semi-automatized codes and procedures for recognition of such zones in variable climatic conditions, and to develop a systematic classification of such landforms related to various types of fault zones (normal, strike-slip and reverse). This study is based on a number of published and unpublished studies on active faults in several regions in various climate conditions including Cuba, western China, Iran and southeastern Europe and Alps. Close collaboration is planned with the specialists on landforms and remote sensing (Blaschke, Robl, Salcher within Salzburg University).

The successful applicant is expected to have a good knowledge in geoinformatics, geology and geomorphology. Some basic knowledge on techniques of numerical modelling is of advantage.