Emmy-Noether-Projekt "Brückenschlag zwischen Geodäsie und Seismologie"

An active ring fault detected at Tendürek volcano by using InSAR

Bathke, H., Sudhaus, H., Holohan, E.P., Walter T.R. and Shirzaei, M., (2013).

Journal of Geophysical Research, 118(8), 4488-4502.  DOI: 10.1002/jgrb.50305

Wiley online library


Although ring faults are present at many ancient, deeply eroded volcanoes, they have been detected at only very few modern volcanic centers. At the so far little studied Tendürek volcano in eastern Turkey, we generated an ascending and a descending InSAR time series of its surface displacement field for the period from 2003 to 2010.

We detected a large (~105 km2) region that underwent subsidence at the rate of ~1 cm/yr during this period. Source modeling results show that the observed signal fits best to simulations of a near-horizontal contracting sill located at around 4.5 km below the volcano summit.

Intriguingly, the residual displacement velocity field contains a steep gradient that systematically follows a system of arcuate fractures visible on the volcano's midflanks.

RapidEye satellite optical images show that this fracture system has deflected Holocene lava flows, thus indicating its presence for at least several millennia. We interpret the arcuate fracture system as the surface expression of an inherited ring fault that has been slowly reactivated during the detected recent subsidence.

These results show that volcano ring faults may not only slip rapidly during eruptive or intrusive phases, but also slowly during dormant phases.


SRCMOD - Database

    • Inversion modelling of geodetic (InSAR) and seismological data
    • earthquake slip complexity and co-seismic rupture history
    • Connecting earthquake models to observations
    • Kinematic earthquake source inversion


    In my research i am interested in how earthquakes ruptures behave and how and why earthquakes develop complex ruptures in space and time. Complex means that the earthquake ruptures e.g. across multiple fault planes with different geometries or slows down/accelerates in different areas. We know that earthquakes rupture with different degrees of complexity and we believe that larger earthquake rupture in more complex ways. This would however violate the common assumption of self-similarity of earthquakes across magnitudes. Often the choice of the modeled degree of complexity is however dependent on expert knowledge. Therefore i am looking for data driven ways to help us evaluate possibly rupture segmentation. Also I focus on small to medium sized earthquakes to investigate if we can resolve any complex ruptures from them or if they do not exhibit such behavior. I am using InSAR, GPS and seismological data.

    To asses the evolution of an earthquake rupture in time i have developed a multi-array backprojection code, which is available on github: Palantiri