Section 3.1: Lithosphere Dynamics
Head of Section: Prof. Dr. Onno Oncken
In our research, we concentrate on the deformation of the lithosphere in regions where two plates are colliding, or, in other words, on convergent plate boundaries. We do research in the Andes and at the South American plate margin, in Turkey, as well as in Central Asia and in the European Alps. In our investigations, we combine the observations of especially slow processes taking place at geological rates with very rapid processes such as earthquakes. To do this, we directly record the movement of the lithosphere with extremely sensitive instruments. We also investigate the history of deformation using geological methods and by determining the age of the rocks. By simulating these processes in the laboratory, and with computer programs, we test our hypotheses about the causes for the observed processes.