Articles | Volume 14, issue 10
Research article
18 Oct 2023
Research article |  | 18 Oct 2023

Glacial-isostatic-adjustment strain rate–stress paradox in the Western Alps and impact on active faults and seismicity

Juliette Grosset, Stéphane Mazzotti, and Philippe Vernant

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Subject area: The evolving Earth surface | Editorial team: Geodesy, gravity, and geomagnetism | Discipline: Geodynamics
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Cited articles

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Baize, S., Cushing, M., Lemeille, F., Gelis, C., Texier, D., Nicoud, G., and Schwenninger, J.-L.: Contribution to the seismic hazard assessment of a slow active fault, the Vuache fault in the southern Molasse basin (France), B. Soc. Geol. Fr., 182, 347–365,, 2011. 
Battaglia, M., Murray, M. H., Serpelloni, E., and Bürgmann, R.: The Adriatic region: An independent microplate within the Africa-Eurasia collision zone: THE ADRIATIC REGION, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L09605,, 2004. 
Bilau, A., Rolland, Y., Schwartz, S., Godeau, N., Guihou, A., Deschamps, P., Brigaud, B., Noret, A., Dumont, T., and Gautheron, C.: Extensional reactivation of the Penninic frontal thrust 3 Myr ago as evidenced by U–Pb dating on calcite in fault zone cataclasite, Solid Earth, 12, 237–251,, 2021. 
Billant, J., Hippolyte, J.-C., and Bellier, O.: Tectonic and geomorphic analysis of the Belledonne border fault and its extensions, Western Alps, Tectonophysics, 659, 31–52,, 2015. 
Short summary
In glaciated regions, induced lithosphere deformation is proposed as a key process contributing to fault activity and seismicity. We study the impact of this effect on fault activity in the Western Alps. We show that the response to the last glaciation explains a major part of the geodetic strain rates but does not drive or promote the observed seismicity. Thus, seismic hazard studies in the Western Alps require detailed modeling of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) transient impact.