From The Incoming Plate to Mega Thrust Earthquake Processes

Magnetotelluric component

Detection and imaging of fluids in the down-going slab as a controlling factor in the subduction and rupture process and their interaction with deep-reaching fault zones in the forearc is a major objective of a joint offshore/onshore passive electromagnetic experiment. The MT field work requires a dense network of MT sites onshore to account for lateral variations of electrical structures and the N-S trend of bathymetry. The electromagnetic deep sounding experiments are conducted by the MT working group of the FU Berlin (H. Brasse).

Monitoring experiment

The magnetotelluric method is also a part of the combined seismic-magnetotelluric-geodetic monitoring network. In the first phase, which started in November 2004, a network of 3 stations (SMG1-3, see figure below) was installed. The sites are aligned along an EW profile extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the volcanic arc. The overall goal is to detect transient events which are related to the subduction system by means of recording and imaging the local and regional seismicity distribution and the long-term variability of geomagnetic transfer functions. Synchronous recordings of GPS and seismic broadband data (periods up to hours) will allow us to examine a wide spectrum of earthquake styles: between seismic (sudden-onset) rupture and continuous or a-seismic slip.

TIPTEQ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Technology (BMBF). We gratefully acknowledge participation in the field (Pablo Salas) and the logistcal support of the Universidad de Concepcion (Klaus Bataille).

Time frame

  • 2004 - 2007

Principal Investigators

  • PD Dr. Oliver Ritter (GFZ)
  • Dr. Heinrich Brasse (FU Berlin)


  • Juliane Hübert (GFZ)


  • Prof. Klaus Bataille (Universidad de Concepción, Chile)

Methods & Equipment

  • EDL data loggers
  • Fluxgate magnetometers
  • Non-polarizable Ag/AgCl electrodes


  • Huebert, J., 2006. Charakterisierung räumlich und zeitlich kohärenter Signalanteile in der Magnetotellurik, Diploma thesis, University of Potsdam / GFZ Potsdam
  • Ritter, O., J. Huebert and the TIPTEQ Research Group, 2006. A magnetotelluric monitoring experiment in the subduction system of Chile 18th International Workshop on Electromagnetic Induction in the Earth, 17-23 September 2006, El Vendrell, Spain.
  • Ritter, O., Huebert, J., Asch, G., TIPTEQ RESEARCH GROUP, 2006. Magnetotelluric monitoring experiment in TIPTEQ, 3rd General Assembly European Geosciences Union (Vienna, Austria 2006).
  • Ritter, O., Huebert, J., Asch, G., TIPTEQ RESEARCH GROUP, 2006. A Magnetotelluric monitoring experiment in TIPTEQ, AGU fall meeting, 11-15 December 2006, San Francisco.
  • Krawczyk, C. M., Haberland, C., Brasse, H., Götze, H.-J., Ritter, O., Bataille, K., TIPTEQ RESEARCH GROUP, 2006. Plate interface properties at the southern central Chilean margin from onshore geophysical image across the seismogenic couplin zone, 3rd General Assembly European Geosciences Union (Vienna, Austria 2006).
  • Kapinos, G., Brasse, H., Ritter, O., Magnetotelluric Image of Fluids in the Plate Interface, Continental Margins - Earth's Focal Points of Usage and Hazard Potential: status seminar, GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) Potsdam, 9-10 June 2005; programme & abstracts, Status Seminar "Continental Margins - Earth's Focal Points of Usage and Hazard Potential" (Potsdam 2005).


Oliver Ritter
Group Leader
Prof. Dr. Oliver Ritter
Geophysical Imaging
Albert-Einstein-Straße 42-46
Building A 42, Room 114
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1257