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  • A creeping intracontinental thrust fault in the Tien Shan

    The Tien Shan takes up about 20 mm/yr of N-S shortening as a result of the India-Eurasia convergence. Recent paleoseismological studies have shown that the shortening is accommodated by a large number of faults, whose slip rates are relatively low. Although the historical earthquake catalogues only reach back a few hundred years, we know that the Tien Shan has seen some of the strongest intracontinetal quakes world-wide with magnitudes exceeding M8. Paleoseismological studies have revealed a large number of surface-rupturing earthquakes, too. But the question is: Do all these known faults rupture in strong earthquakes? In a recent paper, my colleagues and I argue that there is at least one major fault in the Northern Tien Shan that is creeping (Mackenzie et al., 2018). more