Current Projects

The European Plate Observatory System (EPOS) – “Multi-Scale Laboratories” thematic core service (MSL-TCS)

Coordinator: Dr Ernst Willingshofer
Funding: EU HORIZON 2020

The Netherlands contribution to the European Plate Observatory System (EPOS-NL)

Coordinator: Professor Martyn Drury
Funding: NOW

The Dutch Central Gaben and its margins

Researchers: Dr Jeroen Smit and Dr Manfred Lafosse
Funding: TKI Upstream Gas programme (2017-2019)

Location, nature and evolution of the Caribbean – South America STEP plate boundary

Researcher: Dr Taco Broerse
Funding: Netherlands Research Centre of Integrated Solid Earth Science (ISES)

Video: An analogue model of “slab break-off”: a process where part of the lithosphere, in this case oceanic, detaches after it has undergone subduction.

Due to the relatively high density of oceanic lithosphere, it can sink into the hot upper mantle, a process we call subduction. Subduction progresses until all oceanic material has been consumed in the upper mantle, thereby forcing adjacent lighter continental lithosphere to subduct as well. When the subduction stalls, the dense oceanic material slowly separates from the lighter continental material by breaking.
The detached plate sinks slowly into the asthenosphere, towards the upper-lower mantle boundary (here the bottom of the tank). The time scale of such a process is minutes to hours in the laboratory, but millions of years in nature.

The material that simulates the lithosphere is a mix of organic plasticine, PDMS putty, silicon oil and iron powder (called “60OPL 40PDMS 24oil” in Broerse et al., 2019), which has a stress-dependent strength (non-Newtonian). The material that is used to simulate deformation behaviour of the asthenosphere is glucose with a Newtonian rheology. The tank in this experiment has dimensions (w x l x h) 34.5cm x 44.5cm x 20cm.  

From: Broerse, T., Norder, B., Govers, R., Sokoutis, D., Willingshofer, E., & Picken, S. J. (2019). New analogue materials for nonlinear lithosphere rheology, with an application to slab break-off. Tectonophysics, 756,73-96.

Understanding subduction zone topography through modelling of coupled shallow and deep processes

Researchers: Antoine Auzemery (PhD) and Kristof Porkolab (PhD)
Funding: EU H2020 ITN SUBITOP

Tectonic evolution of the Serbian Carpathians: strain partitioning at highly curved orogenic margins

Researcher: Nemanja Krstekanic (PhD)
Funding: Belgrade University; Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science (2017-2020)

Tectonic inheritance and basin evolution in the Dinarides

Researcher: Vedad Demir (PhD)
Funding: Geological Institute of Sarajevo; Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science (2017-2020)

Normal faulting in the Makran accretionary wedge, testing the role of ultra-weak decollements (EPOS-TNA)

Researcher: Dr Asghar Dolati (Kharazmi University)
Funding: EPOS-TNA

Fine constraints of the continental indentation process: high resolution thermo-tectonic analysis of the Dolomites Indenter (eastern Southern Alps). Collaborative research with the University of Innsbruck (PI)

Researcher:  Anna-Katharina Sieberer
Funding: FWF- Austrian Science Foundation

The structural and thermal evolution of continent-ocean transform faults

Researcher: Pavlos Farangitakis (PhD, Durham University)
Funding: NERC

Truly 4D control of analogue models under the CT scan using high X-Ray absorption materials (linear markers and 3D meshes)

Researcher: Dr Emilio L. Pueyo (IGME-Z)
Funding: EPOS-TNA