Opendata, web and dolomites


fault STRength breAkdown and Implications for earthquake Nucleation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "STRAIN" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: DURHAM
postcode: DH1 3LE

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 United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-14   to  2019-09-13


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM UK (DURHAM) coordinator 183˙454.00


 Project objective

Our ability to limit the societal and economic impact of the earthquakes is strongly tied to our understanding of the physics lying behind the earthquake phenomenology. Most earthquakes are generated along pre-existing faults that suddenly fail after prolonged periods of tectonic stressing. Indeed, an earthquake is generated by the imbalance between the elastic energy provided by the rocks surrounding the fault and the strength drop of the fault itself, which is degraded by progressive slip. A large number of experimental and geophysical data well characterize the first-order resistance of the rocks either before (“static” strength) or after the initiation of seismic slip (“dynamic” strength). However, there is a fundamental lack of understanding about how exactly the fault strength decrease slip (STRAIN weakening) and about the real elasticity of the rock masses around the fault, i.e. the “spring” that triggers the earthquakes. We propose the first systematic study of the changes in rock strength with progressive strain using two world-class deformation apparatuses hosted at Durham University, integrating a wide range of microstructural observations and lab seismology techniques to have insights into the microphysics of deformation. We also propose to acquire an unprecedented dataset on the elasticity of fault rocks at in situ conditions, which will be combined with shear experiments to produce empirically calibrated models of fault zone that may shed new light on the process of earthquake nucleation and of potential seismic precursors.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Marco Mercuri, Marco Maria Scuderi, Telemaco Tesei, Eugenio Carminati, Cristiano Collettini
Strength evolution of simulated carbonate-bearing faults: The role of normal stress and slip velocity
published pages: 1-9, ISSN: 0191-8141, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2017.12.017
Journal of Structural Geology 109 2020-03-12
2018 T. Tesei, C. W. A. Harbord, N. De Paola, C. Collettini, C. Viti
Friction of Mineralogically Controlled Serpentinites and Implications for Fault Weakness
published pages: , ISSN: 2169-9313, DOI: 10.1029/2018jb016058
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 2020-03-12
2018 Cecilia Viti, Cristiano Collettini, Telemaco Tesei, Matthew Tarling, Steven Smith
Deformation Processes, Textural Evolution and Weakening in Retrograde Serpentinites
published pages: 241, ISSN: 2075-163X, DOI: 10.3390/min8060241
Minerals 8/6 2020-03-12

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