Measuring the aspect ratio of pseudotachylyte injection veins, Santa Rosa Mylonite Zone

The Earthquake Processes research group at McGill incorporates seismology, numerical and theoretical modeling, structural geology, field mapping, and minerology in the study of fault geometry and slip behaviours. We address questions about rheology, spatial and temporal controls on fault creep, tremor and earthquakes, mineral- earthquake interactions and the role of fluids.

See faculty websites for more information about other research interests, including volcano seismology (Harrington), marine geology and inversion tectonics (Kirkpatrick), soft sediment deformation and ore deposits (although usually not at the same time; Rowe), subducting seamounts and glacier sliding (Liu).

Potential students and postdocs: If you are interested in joining our group, contact any of the faculty members by email. Also see Christie's information for prospective applicants.

Rebecca Harrington
Earthquake seismology
Now at: Ruhr Universitat Bochum
James Kirkpatrick
Fault mechanics
EPSC350: Tectonics (Winter)
EPSC203: Structural Geology (Fall)
Yajing Liu
Theoretical and numerical modeling and seismology
EPSC 320: Elementary Earth Physics (Fall)
EPSC 331/341: Field School 2/3 (Spring)
Christie Rowe
Field & structural geology
EPSC 231: Field School I (Summer)
EPSC 240: Geology in the Field (Fall)
EPSC 551: Crustal Rheology (Fall)
EPSC 645: Tectonics in the Field (Summer)

News and Updates

Summer 2020: Group Meeting calendar for the semester

Fall 2019: Advanced undergrad / Graduate level course Crustal Rheology, to include collaborative research built around a field trip. Welcome to new PhD students Meghomita Das and Moses Angombe, undergraduate Maggie Whelan!

Summer 2019: New graduate level field skills course "Tectonics in the Field" -- email Christie for details (enrollment deadline March)

Winter 2019: Welcome to the group: PhD student Inga Boianju, Undergraduates Audrey Woo and Ava Ghods (John Abbott)

Fall 2018: Ge Li has shown that the Leech River Fault on Vancouver Island correlates with a wide (10 km) zone of seismic activity above the subducting plate interface Li, Liu, Regalla and Morell 2018 GRL. Kelian published the biggest ever compilation of fault roughness data to examine scaling relationships and roughness evolution: Dascher-Coursineau et al. 2018 JGR. John showed that stress drops of earthquakes inside the Charlevoix impact structure are greater than stress drops outside the structure, possibly reflecting different fault properties. He also won the EPS department poster competition for this work! (Onwuemeka et al. GRL 2018)

Welcoming new students Sam Metteer and Tim Howell to the Rowe group! Sam will work on fault strengthening after earthquakes and Tim will study the effects of structural deformation on a metamorphosed ore deposit.

Recent graduate Kelian Daschier-Cousineau has been awarded the 2018 Jack Henderson Award for Best MS Thesis from a Canadian University by the Canadian Tectonics Group. Congratulations Kelian and his advisor Jamie!

Events and Activities

Summer 2019: Only occasional group meetings, check schedule for details.

Winter 2019: A new plan for weekly group meetings to discuss science, careers, skills, and whatever other topics people want to learn about. Schedule here.
Jamie and Yajing organizing a reading group on rate and state friction (Click here for reading list)

Fall 2018: Advanced structural geology (EPSC550) with field trip to Utah!

Winter, 2017: Two 500-level courses offered this term: Physics and Geology of Earthquakes, and Anatomy of Fault Zones (co-taught with specialists from Queens U., UofT and UBC)

Summer, 2016: Field Trip to Charlevoix! details tbd.

Winter, 2016: Geology of Subduction Zones

Autumn, 2015: Appalachian Geology Tuesdays and Hot Orogens Fridays. Stay tuned for details.

Winter, 2015: New reading group Tectonics of California and New Zealand. Join us Fridays at 10am in the coffee lounge. Click here for Reading List

Sept 10-13, 2014: Field trip to the Norumbega Shear Zone, southern Maine, with collaborators from Southern Maine University. Migmatites, mylonites, breccias and pseudotachylytes!

Post-doctoral researchers Ph.D. Students M.S. Students Undergraduates
Dr. Alissa Kotowski - Mechanical behavior of phyllosilicates in plate boundary shear zones

Dr. Alessandro Verdecchia - Seismotectonics

Moses Angombe - Seismic cycle and pressurization in a low-angle thrust system

Meghomita Das - Structures in the subduction plate boundary at tremorgenic depths

Inga Boianju - Fold-thrust belt architecture and seismic behaviour

Lise Alalouf - Subduction zone friction

John Onweumeka - Charlevoix and lower St Lawrence seismicity

Caroline Seyler - Deformation mechanisms, structure, and strength of subduction zone faults

Andres Pena Castro - Very Low Frequency Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield

Ge Li - Cascadia forearc seismicity

Brindley Smith - Dynamic triggering in NE BC

Tim Howell - Sphalerite mobilization during high temp deformation

Sam Metteer - Strength evolution of faults after frictional melting

Ruhollah Keshvardoost - Western Quebec seismicity

Danny Richard - Blueschist rocks of Angel Island, California

Maude Bilodeau - Fluid-rock interaction in the Muddy Mountain Thrust

Arvid Gonzalez Gonzalez - Mantle flow recorded in Cordilleran xenoliths

Dana Silerova - Effects of fault roughness on shear stress

Julia Morales-Aguirre - glacier seismics (co-sup by Natalya Gomez)

Alexandra Del Aguila - poroelastic stress modeling

Emily Perry - carbonate fault rocks from the Naukluft

Maggie Whelan - mapping in metaevaporites of the Grenville

Post-doctoral researchers Ph.D. Students M.S. Students Undergraduates

Dr. Carly Faber, 2020 - Structural evolution and strength changes during eclogite retrogression

Dr. Julia Kubanek, 2019 - Geodetic observations of fluid injection and earthquakes in western Canada, now at GSC (PGC)

Dr. Hongyu Yu, 2019 - Subduction zone earthquake modeling at Manila and Chile, now at European Space Agency

Dr. Randy Williams, 2018 - Formation of clay gouge in the San Andreas Fault, now research scientist at U Wisconsin

Dr. Kai Deng, 2017 - Poroelastic model for induced earthquakes, now Associate Professor at Chengdu University of Technology, China

Dr. Guoyan Jiang, 2015 - Interseismic slip deficit models using GPS and InSAR

Dr. Christine Regalla, 2015 - Effect of seamount subduction on fault geometry and rupture propagation, now Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University

Dr. Noah Phillips, 2019 - The mechanics of slip at the updip limit of the seismogenic zone, now postdoc at Texas A&M

Dr. Bei Wang, 2019 -

Dr. Duo Li, 2018 - Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes and slow slip events, now postdoc at LMU Munich

Dr. Hongyu Yu, 2016 - Malina subduction zone seismicity, Charlevoix seismicity, now postdoc at Rurh University Bochum

Dr. Ben Melosh, 2015 - Earthquake cycling in the brittle-plastic transition of a transform boundary, now Research Geologist at USGS

Dr. Nils Backeberg, 2015 - Damaged goods: Regional deformation history and structural controls on the Hammond Reef gold deposit, now Senior Analyst at Roskill

Nick Ogasa, 2019 - Strength of faults in the brittle to ductile transition

Samantha Carruthers, 2019 - Tectonic tremor-like signal reproduced with fracture, slip, and flow in laboratory deformation experiments on natural blueschist

Catherine Ross, 2017 - Strain distribution around pseudotachylyte faults, now PhD student at UT Austin

Erik Young, 2017 - Distribution of earthquake slip surfaces in a mid-crustal shear zone, now PhD student at Simon Fraser U

Kelian Daschier-Cousineau, 2017 - Roughness evolution with slip, now PhD student at UCSC

Nick Harrichhausen, 2016 - Role of colloidal transport in the formation of high-grade gold veins at Brucejack, British Columbia, now PhD student at UCSB

Naomi Barshi, 2015 - Linking deformation and diffusion to develop a strain speedometer, now PhD student at U Wisconsin

Tim Sherry, 2014 - Earthquakes at stressed ramps emplace injectites, now COO Oddlot Labs

Meng Pang, 2014 - Double-difference earthquake relocation of Charlevoix seismicity, eastern Canada, and implication for regional geological structures

Audrey Woo, 2019 - Microstructures of blueschist-greenschist transition rocks

Shanshan Li, 2019 - The Quantification and Implication of Fault Surface Roughness

Ty Amorosano, 2019 - project

Mario Nucciarone, 2018 - Water weakening of quartz in high-temperature shear zone

Ava Ghods (John Abbott), 2019 - Coordination of Muddy Mountain field data

Lea Hansen, 2019 - InSAR data processing in Western Canada

Mitchell May, 2018 - Fault Surface Evolution: The Application of In Situ Tribometry and While Light Interferometry

Daphne Saint Denis, 2018 - Mineralogy and microstructure of blueschist and eclogite

Ellie Seery, 2017 - Mineralogy of fault gouges in oceanic basalt

Fiona Clerc, 2017 - Source properties of induced earthquakes in western Alberta and NE British Columbia, now PhD student at MIT/WHOI

Alexander Martell, 2016 - Charlevoix earthquake focal mechanism solutions

Meng Li, 2016 (Mitacs Globalink summer intern from Peking University) - Icequakes in Antarctica, now PhD student at ETHZ

Paul Rakoczy, 2016 - Structure-from-motion using Scanning Electron Microscope imagery

Kassandra Sofonio, 2016 - Comparative study of impact and fault pseudotachylytes

Alex Carey, 2015 - Charlevoix seismicity focal mechanism solutions, now PhD student at U. Toronto

Carla Gonzalez, 2016 - Vein reflections: microstructural study of the Dixie Valley fault mirror surfaces

Catherine Ross, 2016 - A comparison between modelling and field observations of off-fault strain around pseudotachylyte fault veins, Norumbega fault system

Mack Muntwyler, 2016 - Marin Headlands fault gouge analysis, now Pilot

Jyotsana Singh, 2016 - Utter choss: characterization of grain-scale deformation associated with seamount subduction in the Permanente Terrane of Pacifica, California

Kelian Daschier-Cousineau, 2015 - Fault rocks of the Champlain Thrust

Emily Griffiths, 2015 - Earthquake relocations of shallow seismicity along the SAF

Matthew Tarling, 2015 - Slip distribution in scaly fabrics

Charlotte Bate, 2014 - Development of Quantitative Measures of Seismically-Induced Brittle Fracture

Kelsey Lamothe, 2014 - Characterization of wear material asssociated with silica lubrication

Veronica Schnitzer, 2014 - Variables controlling desiccation cracking and polygon formation

Images in Title: "Earthquake" patterns from Liu and Rice (2005) JGR, Fig. 5. slip/strike plot in model subduction zone earthquakes. "Processes" image is nano-scale image of core from the 2012 IODP Expedition 343 to the Japan Trench.