Measuring the aspect ratio of pseudotachylyte injection veins, Santa Rosa Mylonite Zone

The Earthquake Processes research group at McGill incorporates seismology, numerical and theoretical modeling, structural geology, field mapping, and minerology in the study of fault geometry and slip behaviours. We address questions about rheology, spatial and temporal controls on fault creep, tremor and earthquakes, mineral- earthquake interactions and the role of fluids.

See faculty websites for more information about other research interests, including volcano seismology (Harrington), marine geology and inversion tectonics (Kirkpatrick), soft sediment deformation and ore deposits (although usually not at the same time; Rowe), subducting seamounts and glacier sliding (Liu).

Potential students and postdocs: If you are interested in joining our group, contact any of the faculty members by email. Also see Christie's information for prospective applicants.

Rebecca Harrington
Earthquake seismology
Now at: Ruhr Universitat Bochum
James Kirkpatrick
Fault mechanics
EPSC350: Tectonics (Winter)
EPSC203: Structural Geology (Winter)
Yajing Liu
Theoretical and numerical modeling and seismology
EPSC 320: Elementary Earth Physics (Fall)
EPSC 331/341: Field School 2/3 (Spring)
Christie Rowe
Field & structural geology
EPSC 331: Field School I (Summer)
EPSC 240: Geology in the Field (Fall)

News and Updates

Winter 2017: Rebecca has taken a new position at Bochum University in Germany - we are very happy she will stay an active (and frequently visiting) member of McGill's Earthquake Processes Group. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lei Zhang who will be visiting from the Institute of Geology at the China Earthquake Administration. Dr. Zhang is a specialist in experimental fault friction so we are looking forward to exciting discussions. The group published several new papers in late 2016, including Yu et al. (BSSA), Deng et al. (GRL) and Li et al. (JGR).

Summer 2016: Congrats to our Graduates! Rebecca and Emily have a new paper in BSSA relocating earthquakes and LFEs near Parkfield. Yajing and Rebecca were coauthors on a paper in SRL demonstrating that hydraulic fracturing, rather than wastewater injection, probably caused a large earthquake in BC. Andres presented at the Chapman Conference on Tremor and Slow Slip, and Bei gave a talk at AGU. Fiona scored an IRIS internship for the summer at the USGS in Pasadena and will be on exchange at Woods Hole in the fall. Christie gave an invited keynote on earthquake indicators in the rock record at a meeting of the Royal Society of London. Ben's paper on seismic brecciation came out in JSG, and Matt's paper on using lentils to simulate scaly fabrics was published in Geology. Four students were awarded GSA Student Research Grants (Kelian, Sam, Noah and Erik) and Caroline won a research grant from the European Consortium for Ocean Drilling (ECORD)!! Jamie and Tucker's paper on the damage zone in the Japan Trench came out in JGR. Kelian, Mack and Jamie completed a field campaign measuring fault surface roughness in Utah. Hongyu successfully defended her thesis at Peking U. and is returning as a postdoc. Andres, Ge and Noah passed their qualifying exams. Duo is off to IPGP as a summer visiting student. Ge, Yajing and Rebecca have published a new paper in JGR on how to distinguish induced from natural earthquakes.

Events and Activities

Winter, 2017: Two 500-level courses offered this term: Physics and Geology of Earthquakes, and Anatomy of Fault Zones (co-taught with specialists from Queens U., UofT and UBC)

Summer, 2016: Field Trip to Charlevoix! details tbd.

Winter, 2016: Geology of Subduction Zones

Autumn, 2015: Appalachian Geology Tuesdays and Hot Orogens Fridays. Stay tuned for details.

Winter, 2015: New reading group Tectonics of California and New Zealand. Join us Fridays at 10am in the coffee lounge. Click here for Reading List

Sept 10-13, 2014: Field trip to the Norumbega Shear Zone, southern Maine, with collaborators from Southern Maine University. Migmatites, mylonites, breccias and pseudotachylytes!

Fall 2014: EPSC551 Seminar in Crustal Rheology. See Course Page for most recent draft of reading list.

2013-2014 Reading Group: Water in Subduction Zones with FlexPet Group. Topics included geochemical and mechanical interactions between subducting fluids and the plate boundary faults in subduction zones, with emphasis on geochemical tracers, water budgets, and the feedbacks between water and slip behaviour at different depths. Reading list is archived here.

Post-doctoral researchers Ph.D. Students M.S. Students Undergraduates
Dr. Julia Kubanek - Geodetic observations of fluid injection and earthquakes in western Canada

Dr. Kai Deng - Poroelastic model for induced earthquakes

Dr. Hongyu Yu - Subduction zone earthquake modeling at Manila and Chile

John Onweumeka - Charlevoix and lower St Lawrence seismicity

Samantha Carruthers - Deformation in subducting slabs from HP melange blocks

Noah Phillips - Deformation in block and matrix faults and shear zones

Caroline Seyler - Frictional changes with prograde metamorphism in subduction zones

Andres Pena Castro - Very Low Frequency Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield

Duo Li - Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes and slow slip events

Ge Li - transient ice sheet deformation

Bei Wang - Earthquake triggering near fluid injection sites in Canada

Catherine Ross - Strain distribution around pseudotachylyte faults

Erik Young - Distribution of earthquake slip surfaces in a mid-crustal shear zone

Kelian Daschier-Cousineau - Roughness evolution with slip

Ellie Seery - Mineralogy of fault gouges in oceanic basalt

Daphne Saint Denis - Mineralogy and microstructure of blueschist and eclogite

Alexander Martell - Charlevoix earthquake focal mechanism solutions

Meng Li (Mitacs Globalink summer intern from Peking University) - Icequakes in Antarctica

Fiona Clerc - Source properties of induced earthquakes in western Alberta and NE British Columbia

Post-doctoral researchers Ph.D. Students M.S. Students Undergraduates
Guoyan Jiang, 2015 - Interseismic slip deficit models using GPS and InSAR

Christine Regalla, 2015 - Effect of seamount subduction on fault geometry and rupture propagation

Hongyu Yu - visiting PhD student (Peking University) - Malina subduction zone seismicity, Charlevoix seismicity

Ben Melosh, 2015 - Earthquake cycling in the brittle-plastic transition of a transform boundary

Nils Backeberg, 2015 - Damaged goods: Regional deformation history and structural controls on the Hammond Reef gold deposit

Nick Harrichhausen, 2016 - Role of colloidal transport in the formation of high-grade gold veins at Brucejack, British Columbia

Naomi Barshi, 2015 - Linking deformation and diffusion to develop a strain speedometer

Tim Sherry, 2014 - Earthquakes at stressed ramps emplace injectites

Meng Pang, 2014 - Double-difference earthquake relocation of Charlevoix seismicity, eastern Canada, and implication for regional geological structures

Alexander Martell, 2016 - Charlevoix earthquake focal mechanism solutions

Meng Li, 2016 (Mitacs Globalink summer intern from Peking University) - Icequakes in Antarctica

Kassandra Sofonio, 2016 - Comparative study of impact and fault pseudotachylytes

Alex Carey, 2015 - Charlevoix seismicity focal mechanism solutions

Carla Gonzalez, 2016 - Vein reflections: microstructural study of the Dixie Valley fault mirror surfaces

Catherine Ross, 2016 - A comparison between modelling and field observations of off-fault strain around pseudotachylyte fault veins, Norumbega fault system

Mack Muntwyler, 2016 - Marin Headlands fault gouge analysis

Jyotsana Singh, 2016 - Utter choss: characterization of grain-scale deformation associated with seamount subduction in the Permanente Terrane of Pacifica, California

Kelian Daschier-Cousineau, 2015 - Fault rocks of the Champlain Thrust

Emily Griffiths, 2015 - Earthquake relocations of shallow seismicity along the SAF

Matthew Tarling, 2015 - Slip distribution in scaly fabrics

Charlotte Bate, 2014 - Development of Quantitative Measures of Seismically-Induced Brittle Fracture

Kelsey Lamothe, 2014 - Characterization of wear material asssociated with silica lubrication

Veronica Schnitzer, 2014 - Variables controlling desiccation cracking and polygon formation

Images in Title: "Earthquake" patterns from Liu and Rice (2005) JGR, Fig. 5. slip/strike plot in model subduction zone earthquakes. "Processes" image is nano-scale image of core from the 2012 IODP Expedition 343 to the Japan Trench.