A.A. 2022-2023

Seminar “Models and methods for Geodynamics” for the course “Geodinamica e Bacini Sedimentari” by Prof. Carlo Doglioni, M.Sc. school of Exploration Geology.

For attending students: if you have not already done so, join us on our Whats App group for dowloading exercise sheets, sharing useful information and material, having scientific discussions, asking for answers to your doubts, planning a work group meeting and for programming new activities!


  1. Introduction to continuum mechanics with applications to Geodesy – Thursday, 9th March 2023 Classification: Theoretical lesson. Methods: vectors, tensors, matrix calculus. Content: introduction to vectors and tensors, elastic parameters, strain, stress, displacement, principal stress components, geodetic invariants, stress sources (gravitational, tectonic, heat) in the shallow Earth, effect of granularity and pore pressure, brittle ductile transition.   Best References and Suggestions: Turcotte & Schubert, Cambridge University Press (2002); Gerya, Cambridge University Press (2019); Anand & Govindjee, Oxford University Press (2020). Proposed exercises : matrix diagonalization, eigenvalues and eigenvectors with applications to the stress tensor, calculation of stress invariants, strain rate, rotation rate, lithostatic and lateral sources of stress in the brittle crust also considering the effect of pore pressure and thermal gradients.
  2. GNSS time series modelling – Thursday, 16th March 2023 Classification: Computational lesson (Language: MATLAB). Methods : Nonlinear fit, fit goodness, FFT, SNR, periodogram, band filters. Content: GNSS time series modeling, filters, noise, signals, aliasing, amplitudes and frequencies. Best References and Suggestions: Montillet et al., Springer (2019); websites: http://geodesy.unr.edu/ and https://www.unavco.org/software/geodetic-utilities/plate-motion-calculator/plate-motion-calculator.html. Proposed exercises : GNSS time series modeling, station velocities and estimation of seasonal modulations.
  3. Modelling subduction zones – Wednesday, 29th March 2023 Classification: Theoretical lesson. Methods: Integrals, Green’s functions. Content: thermal profile of subduction zones, force balance at subduction zones, ENIF, thermal Best references and Suggestions: Zaccagnino&Doglioni, Rivista del Nuovo Cimento 2022; Park et al., Nature, 2023; Qiu et al., Nature Communications, 2018; Sornette, ArXiV, 1998, Zhao et al., Nature Communications, 2022.
  4. Seismic sequences – Thursday, 30th March 2023 Classification: Theoretical lesson. Methods: Power laws, Special functions. Content: Introduction to power laws, physical motivation, Gutenberg-Richter Law and Omori’s Law + derivation, Bath’s law + derivation, b-value, b-value dependence on stress, fault roughness and fractal dimension of fault systems, p-value. References and Suggestions: Kagan, Wiley, 2013, Scholz, C. H. (2015). On the stress dependence of the earthquake b value. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(5), 1399-1402; Schorlemmer, D., Wiemer, S., & Wyss, M. (2005). Variations in earthquake-size distribution across different stress regimes. Nature, 437(7058), 539-542; Amitrano, D. (2012). Variability in the power-law distributions of rupture events: How and why does b-value change. The European Physical Journal Special Topics, 205(1), 199-215; Zaccagnino, D., Telesca, L., & Doglioni, C. (2022). Scaling properties of seismicity and faulting. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 584, 117511.). Proposed exercises: Calculation of some parameters of the Gutenberg-Richter and Omori-Utsu Laws.
  5. Inferring tectonics using seismic waves (Thursday 13th April) Classification: Theoretical; Methods: vector calculus, ODEs; Content: moment tensors, seismic moment and fault slip directions, roughness of faults, growing faults, self-affinity of faulting, seismogenic source, scaling laws of faulting, implications for tectonics.     Selected references: Zaccagnino&Doglioni Communications Earth & Enviroment (2022), Townend, J., & Zoback, M. D. (2000). How faulting keeps the crust strong. Geology, 28(5), 399-402; Scott, D. R. (1996). Rice, J. R. (1992). Fault stress states, pore pressure distributions, and the weakness of the San Andreas fault. In International geophysics (Vol. 51, pp. 475-503). Academic Press.

A.A. 2021-2022

Seminar “A matter of Scale – the role of power laws in Earth Sciences” for the course “Geodinamica e Bacini Sedimentari” by Prof. Carlo Doglioni, M.Sc. school of Exploration Geology.