Resolving Quaternary Tectonic Activity with High-Resolution Data in Space and Time

Zhikun Ren, Olaf Zielke, Marie-Luce Chevalier, Edwin Nissen, Huiping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Large earthquakes are among the most dangerous natural disasters with potentially devastating effects on society and infrastructure across the globe. In order to better understand earthquakes, research in active tectonics aims at quantifying crustal deformation throughout the active fault’s earthquake cycles by studying geomorphic and stratigraphic evidence of recent and past earthquakes. The underlying assumption in this approach is that a fault’s current and previous seismic behavior is representative of its future behavior. Constraining a fault’s seismic behavior in such a manner requires high-resolution geomorphic and stratigraphic records that enable us to resolve the spatial and temporal characteristics of co-, post-, and interseismic phases, ideally over multiple earthquake cycles. Recent technological developments have dramatically increased not only the amount and resolution of topographic and geophysical survey data sets but also our ability to date stratigraphic units and geomorphic surfaces. These technological advances have enabled us to better understand the interplay between crustal deformation, earthquake ruptures, and their signature in geomorphic and stratigraphic records. In particular, the availability of high-resolution data sets from LiDAR, SfM, or geophysical surveys and the use of accurate dating methods such as cosmogenic or OSL dating allow us to quantitatively study surface deformation at high spatial resolution over large areas and at multiple time scales—from a few years to millions of years. In this special issue, we focus on the tectonic activity of active faults and the geomorphic processes in various tectonic regimes worldwide. It covers active tectonics, earthquake geology, remote sensing, tectonic geomorphology, Quaternary geochronology, geohazard, and seismology.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 31 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-17
Acknowledgements: We would like to sincerely thank all authors who trusted us in submitting their high-quality research to this special issue. We appreciate the reviewers’ timely, critical, and constructive suggestions, which greatly improved the overall quality of the published manuscripts. Special thanks are due to Dr. Yu Zhou and Xuhua Shi for their help in organizing the 2016 AOGS meeting session, as well as that of Dr. Austin Elliott and Maomao Wang in the 2016 and 2019 AGU sessions. We also want to thank the attendees who supported our sessions in those meetings, as well as during the annual CGU sessions in China since 2017. Lastly, without the help of Editor Aya Essam and Content Development Manager Luke Barrett and Zoe Curtis, this special issue would not have been possible. Thanks are due to Dr. J. R. Liu and Guodong Bao for helping in illustrating the figures. This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (U2239202), the National Science and Technology Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (2021FY100103), and the National Nonprofit Fundamental Research Grant of China, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration (IGCEA1901).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Resolving Quaternary Tectonic Activity with High-Resolution Data in Space and Time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this