Transform Plate Boundaries and Fracture Zones - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128120644

Transform Plate Boundaries and Fracture Zones

1st Edition

Editors: Joao Duarte
Paperback ISBN: 9780128120644
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 1st October 2018
Page Count: 350
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Transform Plate Boundaries and Fault Zones bridges the gap between plate tectonic theory and geodynamics, offering an assessment of the state-of-the-art, pending questions, and future directions in the study of transform plate boundaries and fault zones. The book is divided into two parts, first relating the main concepts of transform faults and fracture zones, presenting the current state of knowledge and covering terminology and nomenclature, and then reviewing worldwide examples of transform structures and fracture zones. Each chapter follows a consistent format including coverage of the tectonic origin of each structure; a brief description of its evolution; present-day observations (e.g. structural geology, GPS, rheology); diversity of seismic activity; and related seismic hazards.

With its multidisciplinary approach and thorough coverage of current research in plate tectonics, Transform Plate Boundaries and Fault Zones is a timely reference for a variety of researchers, including geophysicists, seismologists, structural geologists, and others working in related fields such as exploration geophysics and natural hazards.

Key Features

  • Includes a variety of case studies and examples of transform structures and fracture zones, putting the information into a broader context
  • Addresses innovative and provocative ideas about the activity of fracture zones in a multidisciplinary and consistent way
  • Reviews basic (but up-to-date) concepts related to plate tectonics as well as more specialized research


Geophysicists, seismologists, geologists, earth scientists working in related fields such as geodynamics, structural geology, exploration geophysics, natural hazards

Table of Contents

Part I. Basic Concepts and Reviews
1. Introduction to transform plate boundaries and fracture zones
2. Origin and evolution of continental transform faults
3. Origin and evolution of oceanic transform faults
4. Origin and evolution of oceanic fracture zones
5. Advances in numerical modelling of transform faults
6. Advances in analogue modelling of transform faults
7. The role of fluids in the activity of transform faults
8. Rheology of transform faults
9. Seismicity along transform plate boundaries and fracture zones and associated hazards
10. Tsunami hazards associated with transform plate boundaries
11. Natural resources associated with transform faults and fracture zones
12. Subduction initiation along transform faults and fracture zones
13. Fracture zones as highways in the propagation of life across the oceans

Part II. Case Studies
14. Atlantic Ocean transforms and fracture zones
15. Pacific Ocean transforms and fracture zones
16. Indian Ocean transforms and fracture zones
17. Transform faults of Asia Chaman Fault and Altyn Tagh Fault
18. San Andreas Fault
19. Alpine Fault
20. Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone
21. North Anatolian Fault
22. Dead Sea Fault
23. Haiti fault system
24. Sumatra fracture zones
25. Lithosphere tearing at STEP faults
26. Tear faults in Calabria
27. Trans-Alboran Fault


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© Elsevier 2019
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About the Editor

Joao Duarte

João C. Duarte works in a broad spectrum of problems in the fields of plate tectonics, geodynamics, marine geology and analogue modelling. Having completed his PhD in Geodynamics in 2012, he already has a significant number of publications in highly ranked journals (see CV here: and is one of the editors of a Special issue in the Journal of Geodynamics (Elsevier) on the “200 years of geodynamic modelling”. This volume was the result of a session and a Union Symposium that he convened with other colleagues during the EGU Assembly 2015. He has also collaborated in articles about his work with publications such as National Geographic, New Scientist, Science et Vie, Wired, Live Science, Earth Magazine, and many others (more than 100 articles in more than 20 languages). This was largely due to the impact of a paper that he published in Geology in 2013 on the problem of subduction initiation in the Atlantic.

He started working on the tectonics of the Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone (a transform-type plate boundary) around 2004. Presently, he is a member of the management committee, and leader of a working group, of the European Cost-Action “FLOWS” that aims at studding the “Impact of fluid circulation in old oceanic lithosphere on the seismicity of transform-type plate boundaries” ( This project involves more than 30 institutions from 17 different countries. This year, he was also the main convener of a session at EGU on “Oceanic and Continental transform faults and fracture zones”.

Presently, he is the coordinator of the Marine Geology and Geophysics group in Lisbon (Instituto Dom Luiz, University of Lisbon) and is part of the board of the Tectonics and Structural Geology Division at the European Geosciences Union and representative of the Early Careers Scientists. Additionally, he was awarded the 2017 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists.

Affiliations and Expertise

Research Fellow, University of Lisbon, Portugal and Adjunct Research Fellow, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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