The Tectonophysics Section is highly interdisciplinary, with strong ties to other Sections including: Seismology, Geodesy, Planetary Sciences, Geomagnetism/Paleomagnetism, and Volcanology/Geochemistry/Petrology. Its members are interested in geodynamic processes and deformation from the scale of individual crystals to mantle convection and plate tectonics through the study of rock mechanics, mineral physics, seafloor geology and morphology, continental and marine tectonics and structural geology, and the thermal regime and mass balance of the Earth. An enduring challenge facing tectonophysicists is to relate processes and measurements at Earth’s surface to their origins at depths that can’t be directly observed. Better measurements, whether in the laboratory, at sea, in deep drill holes, or from satellites, are revealing unexpected complexity that often challenges simplified descriptions and standing models. This is nowhere better illustrated than in the continents, where basic issues like the strength of the lithosphere, strength of major plate boundary faults, the origins of the mountain belts, and the mechanics of intraplate seismicity remain unresolved.
The Tectonophysics section has established two awards and one named lecture to recognize outstanding scientists who are in various stages of their career. Details about each honor are provided below: