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Prof. Frederik Tilmann from German GFZ visited State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics

2014/5/22 18:41:03

At the invitation of Researcher Liu Qiyuan, Prof. Frederik Tilmann, the Director of Seismology Branch of German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) made his first academic visit to China Earthquake Administration (CEA) from September 9 to 13, 2013. Researcher Liu Qiyuan presided over the activities relevant with the visit of Prof. Tilmann.

During the visit, Prof. Tilmann gave lecture at the Institute of Geology, including “The Tibetan Elephant: a bestiary of geophysical studies of plateau formation” (Tibetan Plateau is like an elephant: an animal parable for the condition of geophysical research of plateau deformation), and“Observing the 2010 Maule Rupture Zone with Seismology and Geodesy: a double downdip transition”. His report presented a full picture of the achievements and main problems of the dynamic and geophysical research of the Tibetan plateau. 

As another part of bilateral academic exchange, Prof. Tilmann carefully listened to the presentation on research progresses of the Lithosphere Array Seismology Laboratory in the recent years and future research directions of the Institute of Geology, CEA. It included the following lectures: “Dynamics of Northeastern Tibet: Significance and Scientific issues” by Liu Qiyuan, “Advances of Array Seismic Study of North-Eastern Tibet” by Chen Jiuhui,“Seismicity, Detachment and Upwelling of Upper Mantle in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau” by Guobiao,and “Stratification of Crustal Anisotropy from P-Receiver Functions” by Qi Shaohua. Prof. Tilmann spoke highly of our work. The exchange and discussion between the two sides not only enhanced mutual understanding but also laid a foundation for further discussion of future cooperative research

The main purpose of inviting Prof. Tilmann to visit our institute is to discuss future cooperation so as to continue and expand the fruitful cooperation of the old generations of the two sides in the past nearly 30 years. After two days’ exchange and discussion, the two sides initialed a bilateral memorandum of understanding on cooperation on September 13. According to the memorandum, the main contents of the cooperation are: to comprehensively utilize Chinese seismic observation data of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau and the observation data of German GEOPHON seismic network, carry out research on source rupture processes of great earthquakes and uneven and anisotropic structure of the mantle. The two sides agreed they would actively carry forward the intent of cooperation reached in the memorandum.

During his visit to China this time, Prof. Tilmann also dropped in China Earthquake Network Center (CENC) on September 11, 2013. CENC Director Pan Huaiwen not only made sufficient preparation in advance but also accompanied Prof. Tilmann throughout the visit and introduced in details the national tasks undertaken by CENC and the achievements CENC made in technology and management modernization in the recent years. Prof. Tilmann highly praised the work achievements of CENC.


Institute of Geology, CEA

                    State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics

On September 11, 2013, Prof. Frederik Tilmann listened to a report of Researcher Chen Jiuhui on the progress of the research on structure of the crust and upper mantle of the eastern Tibetan Plateau

Memorandum for proposal of a collaboration agreement


On September 8-13, Prof. Frederik Tilmann of the GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences) in Potsdam, Germany, met in Beijing with Prof. Chen Jiuhui and Prof. Qiyuan Liu from the Institute of Geology, Chinese Earthquake Administration (Beijing) to discuss plans for a collaborative study based around the temporary linear passive arrays collected by CEA in 2010 and 2011 between approximately 33 and 36°N, 103-107°E (South Gansu). The outcome of these discussions is described in the following.


The objective of this cooperation is to maximize exploitation of the collected dataset for both improving the knowledge about the local tectonics and for globally-oriented studies.  The annex indicates possible topics of collaborative research.

Data and software exchange

The Chinese party will provide access to selected parts of the time series based on time window lists provided by the German party and as needed for the agreed research, and complying to legal restrictions. Software and Methods will be shared between both parties as the need arises.  Data, software or information must not be shared with third parties without further approval.

Each party promises to use the data or software only for the type of analysis mutually agreed upon in advance. However, the scope of the work can be extended by mutual agreement, in particular to be able to respond to results of preliminary research, which suggests further exploration.


The results obtained through this collaborative research will belong to and be published jointly by both groups(excepting Master or PhD dissertation).The research will be conducted in such a manner as to involve all co-authors in the cooperative research.

Personnel Exchange and funding

In order to fulfill this collaborative research, personnel or students proposed by each party should spend some time carrying out cooperative research at the partner institution. Funding for these exchanges will be sought by a joint proposal from both parties to a joint program by the NSFC and DFG aimed at fostering Sino-German collaboration.

Prof. Frederik Tilmann                                      Prof. Jiuhui Chen

German Research Centre for Geosciences            Institute of Geology, CEA

Potsdam, Germany                                               Beijing, China


Indicative list of topics of cooperation

-    Rupture tracking of the Mentawai 2010 tsunami earthquake based on the variant of the backtracking method developed by Palo, Tilmann et al. (in prep), which employs aftershocks for calibrating the array response.  This work will require event-based waveforms from recordings of the Mentawai aftershock sequence.

-    Measurement of shear wave splitting of SKS and S phases, for the latter using the array-based measurement method developed by Eken & Tilmann (in prep) - at a later stage these measurement should be considered jointly with anisotropy measurements.  This work will require access to shear wave phases of teleseismic earthquakes

-     Studies of the Earth's deep interior based on application of double - beam method to the Maule aftershock sequence recorded by the Gansu array - this event is at ~175° epicentral distance, and clear recordings of PKIKP and PKP are visible.