Subduction and seismicity


I am working on temporal patterns in the global earthquake catalog, especially ones suggestive of earthquake cycle synchronization and entrainment.  This is brand-new work, and we have lots to do on it!

I am also interested in the morphology of subduction zones worldwide. Their consistent arc shape suggests fundamental physical constraints imposed by the geometry of the earth are important. In fact, we find that geometric effects dominate the dynamics and allow us to classify global subduction zones as body-force dominated and boundary-force dominated. This classification and the 3D mechanics have important implications for great earthquakes and stress budgets at convergent boundaries.


Bendick, R. and R. Bilham (2017) Do weak global stresses synchronize earthquakes? Geophys. Res. Lett., 10.1002/2017GL074934.

Bendick, R. and Ehlers, T. (2014) Extreme localized exhumation at syntaxes initiated by subduction geometry, Geophys. Res. Lett. doi: 10.1002/2014GL061026.

L. Mahadevan, R. Bendick, and H. Liang (2010) Why subduction zones are curved, Tectonics, 29, TC6002, doi:10.1029/2010TC002720.