Laboratory of Tectonophysics

Chief Konstantin Zh. Seminskii, Dr. Sci. (Geol.-Min.)

The staff consists of 24 persons, among which are three doctors and eight candidates of sciences.

The Laboratory of Tectonophysics, organized in 1979 by S.I. Sherman, Doctor of Geology and Mineralogy (Lab head until 2004), remains the only team doing research activity of this kind to the east of the Ural. The Lab workers were the first to be involved in the Seismogeodynamics Research Cabinet formed in 1992 under the guidance of K.G. Levi, Dr. Sci. (Geol.-Min.). Currently, the Laboratory consists of two doctors and four candidates of sciences, and six post-graduates. 4 theses for the doctor of sciences degree and 17 theses for the candidate of sciences degree were defended through the tectonophysical research works.

The current line of research mainly deals with

  1. the regular trends in tectonic stress distribution, deformation development, faulting and lithospheric fault-block structure formation to estimate the role of geological-structural factors in seismic process and
  2. to provide the tectonophysical basis for earthquake prediction and other geodynamical processes.

The fieldwork and experiments have proved that the lithosphere destruction is a regular and predictable phenomenon for the overall hierarchy of the fault-block structure, and parameters estimated for destructive forms and non-linear equations connecting those parameters may be used to explain and to predict geological-geophysical processes controlled by fault tectonics.

The results of the investigations are quoted in 17 monographs and more than 300 scientific papers, and form the basis of serial mapping and tectonophysical modeling. Much attention was drawn to “Physical regularities of crustal faulting”, a monograph by S.I. Sherman (1977), translated and published in China, the collective three-volume monograph “Faulting in lithosphere” by S.I. Sherman, K.Zh. Seminskii, S.A. Bornyakov and others, the monograph “Internal structure of continental fault zones: tectonophysical aspect” (K.Zh. Seminskii) and its logical continuation “Internal structure of continental fault zones: applied aspect” (K.Zh. Seminskii, A.S. Gladkov, O.V. Lunina and others), and the monograph “Stress fields of the earth crust and geological-structural methods of their study” by S.I. Sherman and Yu.I. Dneprovskii. Prof. S.I. Sherman with other coauthors was honored with Science and Technology Award from the Cabinet Council of the USSR for participating in the investigations and quoting results in Monograph Series “Geology and Seismicity of BAM Railway”. Monograph “Tectonophysics in search for diamonds” (A.S. Gladkov, S.A. Bornyakov and others) continues promoting tectonophysical methods and new author projects for diamond search.

Long-term purposeful research conducted by the Lab workers was granted government awards, ranks, and premiums (S.I. Sherman, K.Zh. Seminskii, O.V. Lunina, A.V. Cheremnykh).

The Laboratory is known for holding All-Russian conferences: “Faulting in lithosphere: tectonophysical analysis” (1991) and “State of stress, deformations and seismicity of the lithosphere” (2003). The Lab workers have been participating in all international geological congresses and conferences on rift zones of the Earth and geodynamics and destruction of the lithosphere since 1984.

Beginning in 1991, the Laboratory worked closely with the Institute of Geology of Vietnam for plotting map “Fault-block tectonics of Vietnam” within the context of international cooperation according to the agreements between the Russian Academy of Sciences and National Center of Natural Science and Technology of Vietnam. The research of active faults and state of stress of the earth crust is pursued in cooperation with the members of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). The Laboratory has many-year cooperation with the Geological Institute RAS, Moscow, to produce the map portraying the recent geodynamics of Asia, with the Joint Institute of Earth Physics RAS, Moscow, to study lithospheric faulting and physical grounds and technique for earthquake forecast, and with the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics SB RAS, Novosibirsk, to study the state of stress and fault-block structure of the Baikal rift system.

The Laboratory activities are a part of the priority areas for research in geosciences, supported by the RFBR grants, integration projects, and commercial contracts. Due to a relatively young age of the current staff using modern analysis methods (mathematical and physical modeling, quantitative processing of geological data and others), the Laboratory is an advanced research unit. Current investigations emphasize how to use regular trends in the lithospheric destruction to construct a set of applied models that relate faulting to seismic events and ore genesis and how to continue making basic research in tectonophysics of faulting.

About Us

1949 and USSR Academy of Sciences Presidium Decree, dated February 24, 1949 as a response to the foundation of the Branch. It was renamed into the East-Siberian Geological Institute in 1957; since 1962, it had been known as the Institute of the Earth’s Crust SB AS USSR and obtained its current name in 1992.

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