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Unravelling mechanisms controlling asperities synchronization and triggering mega-earthquakes: insights from analog experiments and subduction zone earthquake statistics

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 AspSync project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the AspSync project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "AspSync" about.

margins    oki    combines    seismic    frictional    regions    failing    responsible    database    systematically    analyze    unlocking    zones    interface    infer    interplate    tackle    analysis    relationships    geodynamical    geometry    parametric    um2    recognition    series    estimate    3d    extensive    asperities    tohoku    behavior    pattern    physical    2011    possibility    direction    earth    strength    distance    fault    densely    update    proposes    link    trench    aspsync    m9    effect    mechanical    geodynamics    mega    convergent    margin    severe    statistics    laterally    earthquakes    earthquake    multidisciplinary    losses    model    quantitatively    seismicity    temporal    synchronization    human    interact    destructive    japan    populated    plate    dimensions    mimicking    tuning    parallel    asperity    feedbacks    analog    synchronize    experimental    heterogeneous    potentially    events    event    prototype    subduction    global    reproduces    enigmatic    damages   

Project "AspSync" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 34090

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 185˙076 €
 EC max contribution 185˙076 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-01-01   to  2017-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Subduction mega-earthquakes are among the most destructive events on Earth. When affecting very densely populated areas these earthquakes may cause extensive human losses and severe damages, as for the 2011 M9.0 Tohoku-Oki event (Japan). According to the ‘asperity model’, a mega-earthquake may occur when regions of the fault that are potentially seismic (i.e., asperities) interact and synchronize failing together. But understanding the physical conditions that are responsible for such synchronization still remains enigmatic. AspSync proposes to tackle this problem using a multidisciplinary approach that combines analog modelling with geodynamics and statistics. AspSync proposes to develop a 3D mechanical prototype that reproduces the convergent margin features, including interplate earthquakes. This model will feature laterally (i.e., in trench parallel direction) heterogeneous frictional behavior mimicking the asperities that characterize the plate interface. Tuning the physical and frictional properties of asperities, AspSync will systematically test the role of their dimensions, distance, geometry and strength in the synchronization process, unlocking the possibility to infer the physical conditions that lead to the triggering of mega-earthquakes. AspSync will then link the experimental results with ‘real Earth conditions’, studying the feedbacks between geodynamical properties of convergent margins and interplate seismicity aiming to identify the physical conditions that promote mega-earthquakes triggering. AspSync will update and analyze the existing database of global physical properties of subduction zones and interplate seismicity developed at UM2 applying robust statistics (e.g., multi-parametric pattern recognition analysis; analysis of temporal series) to quantitatively estimate cause-effect relationships between geodynamical and seismic parameters.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Fabio Corbi, Robert Herrendörfer, Francesca Funiciello, Ylona van Dinther
Controls of seismogenic zone width and subduction velocity on interplate seismicity: Insights from analog and numerical models
published pages: 6082-6091, ISSN: 0094-8276, DOI: 10.1002/2016GL072415
Geophysical Research Letters 44/12 2019-06-14
2018 S. Brizzi, L. Sandri, F. Funiciello, F. Corbi, C. Piromallo, A. Heuret
Multivariate statistical analysis to investigate the subduction zone parameters favoring the occurrence of giant megathrust earthquakes
published pages: , ISSN: 0040-1951, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2018.01.027
Tectonophysics 2019-06-14
2017 Fabio Corbi, Francesca Funiciello, Silvia Brizzi, Serge Lallemand, Matthias Rosenau
Control of asperities size and spacing on seismic behavior of subduction megathrusts
published pages: 8227-8235, ISSN: 0094-8276, DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074182
Geophysical Research Letters 44/16 2019-06-14
2016 S. Brizzi, F. Funiciello, F. Corbi, E. Di Giuseppe, G. Mojoli
Salt matters: How salt affects the rheological and physical properties of gelatine for analogue modelling
published pages: 88-101, ISSN: 0040-1951, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.04.021
Tectonophysics 679 2019-06-14

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