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Visit of Prof. Paul Tapponnier, Academician of French Académie des Sciences and others

2014/5/22 18:49:51

At the invitation of Researcher Xu Xiwei, Prof. Paul Tapponnier, Academician of French Académie des Sciences from Singaporean Nanyang Technological University and other 6 scientists visited our institute for cooperation and exchange of scientific research. Prof. Tapponnier is a famous expert in structural geology in the world and has made outstanding contributions to geology and tectonics, especially active tectonics of the Tibetan Plateau.

From September 1 to 23, 2013, together with Postdoctor Gao Mingxing, Dr. Tan Xibin and doctoral student Li Kang of our institute, the team led by Professor Paul Tapponnier went to the Fuyun fault in Xinjiang and the Altun fault in Gansu for field investigations, including ground LiDAR measurement, excavation of exploratory trenches and sample collection. Their work focused on the Late Quaternary slip rates of the faults and recurrence intervals of major earthquakes. With the joint effort of the research personnel of the two sides, they completed scheduled study successfully.  

On September 24, Prof. Tapponnier made lecture at our institute, titled “GREAT HIMALAYAN EARTHQUAKE (M>8)”. Prof. Li Youli from Peking University, Prof. Shen Jun from the Institute of Disaster Prevention, Toshihihiko Shimamoto – a specially invited researcher of our institute, more than 60 research personnel and postgraduates listened to his report. As known to all, the Himalayas is the result of collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates and subsequent uplift, and a headstream of the rivers in Asia. The southern side of the Himalayas is populous, so particularly vulnerable to earthquake disasters, which can cause great human casualty. However, the research on issues like seismogenic mechanisms, seismogenic faults and recurrence intervals of historic great earthquakes around the Himalayas is still very little. In his lecture, Prof. Tapponnier presented a few historical great earthquakes in the Himalayas including the Chayu M8 earthquake in 1950, and showed the research results on surface rupture patterns caused by thrust faults, paleoearthquakes disclosed by exploratory trenches, and earthquake recurrence cycles. After the lecture, Prof. Paul Tapponnier discussed with many researchers of the Institute of Geology on a series of issues concerning focal mechanism solutions of earthquakes, seismic risk, rock property and focal depths of different locations of the Main Central Thrust (MCT), Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and Main Front Thrust (MFT) in the Himalayas.