Tectonic Modelling Laboratory

Tectonic Modelling Laboratory (PDF, 4.2 MB)

Analogue modelling and X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) at the Tectonic Modelling Laboratory in Bern

Analogue modelling is a well-estabishled technique to investigate the evolution of tectonic structures in the Earth's crust and lithosphere. Scaled analogue models offer the opportunity to determine the relation between imposed boundary conditions and resulting structures. The strength of such models lies in stimulating the conception of testable hypotheses about the development of tectonic structures in nature.

The Tectonic Modelling Laboratory at the University of Bern offers innovative and state-of-the-art facilities to model and analyse in detail a large variety of tectonic settings. Our analogue models are analysed by X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) using a 64-slice Siemens Somatom Definiton AS. XRCT is a technique which permits visualisation of the interior of a model without destroying it, hence allowing an in-depth analysis of the 3-D geometry of the model and of the kinematic evolution of model structures with time.

Digital volume correlation (DVC) techniques on XRCT volume data are used to quantify the 3D spatial and temporal strain patterns inside analogue models. Strain quantification of analogue experiments is of great importance when comparing analogue models with numerical studies.

The Tectonic Modelling Laboratory at the University of Bern (TecLab Bern) is part of the EPOS TCS multi-scale laboratories network.