ALPSHAPE2 – Present-day kinematics of the Southern and Eastern Alps

In the framework of the priority programme “Mountain Building Processes in 4 Dimensions (MB-4D)” the German Research Foundation supports interdisciplinary projects that aim to better understand the Alpine structure from the upper mantle to the surface. All MB-4D projects are rooted in the seismological data collected by the European AlpArray Mission and its offspring, the SWATH-D project that focuses on the seismically abundant Southern and Eastern Alps, where today the Adriatic plate subducts under the Alps (Fig. 1). The ALPSHAPE2 project introduces a geodetic component to MB-4D: Using time-series of accurate positioning methods (GNSS) and Satellite Radar Interferometry (InSAR) we try to monitor and quantify the ongoing N-S shortening of the Earth’s crust. We compare our observations to kinematic and finite-element models to better understand the underlying crustal processes and how they are linked to mantle-scale dynamics. The GNSS surveys will be conducted in close collaboration with Uni Ljubljana and all results will be constantly compared to findings of another MB-4D project (S. Cesca/GFZ, J. Kummerow/FU Berlin) that analyses the micro-seismicity observed by SWATH-D.

Figure 1: Tectonic overview of the Southern and Eastern Alps, including Neogene faults (brown), micro-seismicity (brown dots), M>6 and M>6.9 earthquakes since 1000 (yellow/orange stars) and published GNSS rates (purple arrows). Satellite radar tracks and example foot prints are indicated with a dashed, purple line; the extent of the SWATH-D temporary seismic network with a dashed, yellow frame. Potential survey GNSS locations are marked with triangles. GF – Giudicarie fault, IF – Idrjia fault, MM – Mur-Müritz fault, RF – Raša fault, SAF – Southern Alpine Front, SF – Sava fault, SEMP – Salzach-Ennstal-Mariazell-Puchberg fault, PAF – Peri-Adriatic fault. Cities: Klagenfurt (K), Ljubljana (L), Udine (U), Verona (V)

PIs:  Sabrina Metzger  (sec. 4.1), Oliver Heidbach  (sec. 2.6) and Julia Neelmeijer  (sec. 1.4)

Funding: DFG 442567237

Project duration: 2020 – 2023

Partners: Sections 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.3 in GFZ Potsdam, University Ljubliana (Slovenia), Free University Berlin, Christian-Albrecht-University Kiel, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena


Sabrina Metzger
Dr. Sabrina Metzger
Lithosphere Dynamics
Building E, Room 420
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1316