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March 2011 – New pattern of continental deformation identified

Media in Ireland have reported on the discovery of a previously unknown pattern of deformation of continental lithosphere, made by Sergei Lebedev and Celine Tirel (Geophysics Section, DIAS) and their co-workers in Germany. The team measured slight directional variations of seismic wave speeds in the Aegean region and determined directions of flow of the rock at depth. They found that the extension in the region is accompanied by viscous-fluid-like flow in the deep lithosphere, parallel to the direction of extension but at an angle to the major faults observed at the surface. The work is published in an article in the March issue of Nature Geoscience. The research triggered a Science Foundation Ireland press release, was covered by the Irish Examiner and featured in Sergei Lebedev’s interview on Science Spinning on Dublin City FM.