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Ten years after the Wenchuan earthquake: new insights into the geodynamics of the eastern Tibet

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Last updated:
31 October 2017
Huiping Zhang, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration

Eric Kirby, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

Haibing Li, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences

Kristen Cook, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Peizhen Zhang, School of Earth Science and Geological Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University
Submission deadline: January 31, 2018



In 2008, the Mw 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake killed > 80,000 and injured more than 370,000 people in the province of Sichuan, China. About five years later, Mw6.6 Lushan earthquake occurred on April 20, 2013, only ~90 km further south. Both events were along the Longmen Shan thrust belt in eastern Tibet. The questions posed by these two events still reverberate in the Chinese and international geoscience communities. Almost ten years on, we envisioned there have been new data sets, observations, and modeling, thus it is a good time to look back on what we learned from those events, since interest in the evolution of eastern Tibet has not abated during that time. Here we propose an AGU joint special issue on Wenchuan retrospective that will span Tectonics and JGR-Solid Earth. We welcome contributions which cover the tectonics of eastern Tibet, the seismology of the earthquake, and the surface response following the earthquake. All these contributions will provide new insights into the gedynamics of the eastern Tibet.

Slow Slip Phenomena and Plate Boundary Processes

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Last updated:
24 August 2017
Associate Editors: Heidi Houston, Yoshihiro Ito, Allen Husker, and Satoshi Ide

Slow slip is a new kind of fault slip behavior found predominantly on the boundaries between tectonic plates. In addition to geodetically-observed slow deformation, possible signatures of slow slip include several diverse phenomena often associated with slow slip including tremor, low-frequency earthquakes, and slowly-migrating triggered seismicity. This theme encompasses observational, theoretical, modelling, and laboratory studies focusing on any of these aspects of slow slip, or their implications for fault mechanics or earthquake hazard. The February 2016 Chapman Conference on Slow Slip Phenomena highlighted current understanding in the field and served as the catalyst for this collection. However, the call for papers includes other work that falls within the theme.

This Theme is open to submissions jointly in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems and JGR-Solid Earth.



The Arctic: An AGU Joint Special Collection

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Last updated:
24 August 2017
The Arctic has become the focus of many new investigations and studies across a number of disciplines. In many cases, this research is integrating diverse new data sets, observations, and modeling, and making connections among and across the biosphere, oceans, atmospheres, space, and geophysical environments. These papers include historical and new research on the Arctic and represent the following AGU journals: Earth’s Future, Earth and Space Science, Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems (G-Cubed), Geophysical Research Letters, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, JAMES (Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems), JGR: Oceans, JGR: Atmospheres, JGR: Solid Earth, JGR: Space Physics, JGR: Biogeosciences, JGR: Earth’s Surface, Reviews of Geophysics, Space Weather, and Water Resources Research.

Gas Hydrate in Porous Media: Linking Laboratory and Field Scale Phenomena

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Last updated:
18 July 2017
Carolyn Ruppel, US Geological Survey

Joo Yong Lee, Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources

Submission acceptance begins: July 18, 2017

Submission deadline: February 15, 2018



The proliferation of field expeditions focused on characterizing natural gas hydrate as a potential energy resource has spawned widespread interest in gas hydrate reservoir properties and associated porous media phenomena.  This special collection invites contributions describing laboratory experiments that constrain the geomechanical, hydraulic, thermal, and/or geotechnical properties of hydrate-bearing sediments, as well as observational studies related to the interaction of multiphase pore fluids and soils during hydrate formation, long-term thermodynamic stability, and/or dissociation. Numerical modeling or theoretical studies that advance these topics with application to naturally-occurring gas hydrates are also welcome. The special collection will also include papers that make fundamental advances in the interpretation of borehole logging data or field-scale seismic data in terms of reservoir properties or the interaction of gas hydrates with porous media. Contributions that describe field surveys without elucidating new approaches for inferring reservoir properties are not appropriate for the special collection.

Seismic and micro-seismic signature of fluids in rocks: Bridging the scale gap

Last updated:
16 June 2017
Submissions Open: October 1, 2016

Submission Deadline: Extended to June 30, 2017



Seismology, geophysics and rock physics are disciplines aimed at understanding the structure and dynamics of the subsurface using seismic and micro-seismic monitoring techniques. Typical applications requiring this knowledge include exploration for and production of hydrocarbon resources, monitoring carbon dioxide geo-sequestration, and recovery of geothermal energy. A common denominator for these applications is the need to characterize fluid migration, substitution and diffusion and their effects on underground rock formations during fluids injection and withdrawal operations. The scales of observation and frequency of probing involved cover a wide range: from millimeters (rock physics experimentation) to kilometers (seismology) and from sub-hertz to megahertz. Contrasting observations or interpretations are often made at these various scales/frequencies, and discrepancies need to be explained in physical terms in order to predict effectively the evolution of the rock formation of interest.



Bridging this scale gap motivated the research workshop “Seismic and micro-seismic signature of fluids in rocks: Bridging the scale gap” held June 13, 2016 at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, and jointly sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Studies and the Department of Geoscience and Environment. The objective of the workshop was to gather seismology, geophysics and rock physics experts to share information on laboratory experimentation and field studies on reservoir rocks such as sandstones or carbonates, and tighter rocks such as granites. The practical aim of the workshop was two-fold: (i) discuss the commons and differences between the scales of observation; (ii) identify the knowledge gaps and explore the possible ways to overcome them in order to reconcile laboratory experimentation and field data interpretation.



This exchange of information will ultimately contribute to a better understanding of how fluid injection, substitution and diffusion in the subsurface affect pore/effective pressure, micro-seismic activity, rock strength, and the potential for faulting and fault reactivation. The discussions at the workshop were guided by the following questions:

  • How to optimise the design of laboratory experiments to provide the most relevant data for field-scale interpretation;
  • How to optimise the design of field testing/monitoring and making the best use of laboratory data;
  • Identify the best-suited theoretical tools for upscaling.


This Special Collection in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth will be a record of our state of understanding of the impact of fluids on our ability to remotely monitor the evolution of underground rock formations in a reliable way. Manuscripts are invited for a special section related to the theme of the workshop.

Stress at active plate boundaries - measurement and analysis, and implications for seismic hazard

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Last updated:
16 June 2017

This special collection will bring together studies designed to quantify and analyse the state of stress at active plate boundaries. The ultimate aim is to find a way forward to use stress measurements as a means of directly assessing seismic hazard. We solicit papers using a wide range of approaches, from in situ measurements, seismology, geodesy and numerical stress modelling. Particular issues of interest are the absolute level of stress and how stress varies both in space and time between and during earthquakes.

Credit: Richard Jongens, GNS Science / Earthquake Commission.