Active and Inactive Faults

Following Tomas post let’s stay a little longer on the Corinth Canal. The 6 km long famous Corinth Canal despite being an amazing feat of engineering, since it was constructed 120 year ago, it’s also a geology field trip favourite because it is basically a MEGA TRENCH.

More than 40 faults can be identified some of them offsetting the entire sedimentary column, whereas others are confined within the lower sediments. Therefore, this photo shows a very nice example of an active and inactive fault within the same outcrop. You can rarely see something like that and this is a unique site where everybody can see and comprehend it.

View of an active and inactive fault

It shows also that faults die. This is very important because there are numerous faults in the crust, however the majority of them are inactive (e.g. can not give an earthquake today, but they did so in the past). So for earthquake geologists their first major goal is to identify which of the faults they map are active (e.g. can generate earthquakes today and represent seismic sources).

Faults also die.

Who was it?

Ioannis Papanikolaou
is a Senior Lecturer in the Mineralogy-Geology Lab of the Agricultural University of Athens, member of the Aon Benfield-UCL Hazard Research Centre and Hons Research Fellow at the Dept of Earth Sciences at University College London (UCL).