Jon Lewis (Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning), working with Tim Byrne (UConn) and Wei-Hao Hsu, Yue-Gau Chen, and Po-Yi Yeh (all at National Taiwan University), recently published an open-access paper titled “Synorogenic extension and extrusion in southern Taiwan” in the journal Tectonophysics.

Taiwan experiences some of the highest modern tectonic uplift rates in the world, and Hsu et al. find that this is in part balanced by lateral southwestward flow of the crust that may have initiated as recently as 0.5 million years ago. 

This paper reflects a multi-pronged approach that has spanned several field seasons with contributions from IUP students Chaz Cavallotti, Allie Berry, Lauren Donati, Lindsey Aman Cromwell, and Ross Bolesta. Work continued back on campus and included processing fault data, integrating these data with earthquake data, calculating strain in oriented rock samples, and doing structure-from-motion analyses of drone photos to constrain the orientations of potentially active faults.

Their efforts were supported in part by two National Science Foundation grants to Lewis (EAR 1220317 and EAR-160157) which also enabled several members of the team members to present their findings at meetings of the American Geophysical Union and the Japanese Geoscience Union.