Geological Landscape

Dr Katleen Wils will deliver the ESE Departmental Seminar on 13 October 2022, “Unravelling the manifold earthquake hazard in subduction zones by lacustrine paleoseismology”

Join us in room G41 – RSM Building – on Thursday 13 October 2022 at 12h.


In recent years, a wealth of lacustrine paleoseismic studies has emerged around the world, providing often long and highly-sensitive shaking records. Such lacustrine records are particularly powerful for subduction zones, where traditional paleoseismic techniques cannot completely and reliably grasp the manifold of seismic hazards that exist in these settings. In this respect, the south-central Chilean subduction zone has been extensively studied, resulting in the identification of sedimentary shaking imprints in no less than 20 lakes and fjords. Correlation of these records and integration with other coastal paleoseismic and -tsunami archives provided qualitative estimates of the recurrence mode for different types of rupture sources. This significantly enhances our knowledge on the interplay between crustal, intraslab, and megathrust earthquakes. However, quantitative estimations of the timing and spatial extent of these events are still lacking due to large uncertainties. These arise from inconsistencies in the applied dating techniques, variable age precision, and the mostly unclear relationship between sedimentary earthquake imprints and rupture characteristics. Nevertheless, recent advancements have been made in terms of determining earthquake source parameters for crustal earthquakes by application of ground-motion modelling. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of past and ongoing work, highlighting the indispensable value of lacustrine paleoseismic records to ultimately improve seismic hazard assessments.

About the speaker

Dr Katleen Wils

Katleen Wils (°1993, Belgium) obtained her PhD at Ghent University in 2021, and now works there as an FWO postdoctoral research fellow. Her research focuses on subaquatic paleoseismology by studying lake and fjord sediments in Chile and Sumatra, and ground-motion modelling to further investigate the hazard implications of the wealth of sedimentological paleoseismic data that is currently available.

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