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Center for Mathematical Science and Advanced Technology (MAT)


Arthur Bauville


External Researcher
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
Center for Mathematical Science and Advanced Technology

3173-25, Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama-city, Kanagawa, 236-0001, Japan

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Short CV

I'm a geologist specialized in the numerical modeling of tectonic processes.


2016.1 - Present External Researcher, MAT JAMSTEC (Japan), supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation
2015.1 - 2015.11 Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Geosciences, University of Mainz (Germany)


2010.11 - 2014.11 Phd in Earth Sciences, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)
2008 - 2010 MSc, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Grenoble (France)

Research Topics

Dynamic development of decollement and shear zones
Fold-and-thrust belts and accretionary prisms are a consequence of the deformation of the Earth's crust in convergent tectonic settings such as the Nankai trough and the Japan Trench in Japan. These tectonic object typically have a triangular (taper) shape delimited at the surface by the earth surface and at the bottom by a reverse fault lying at low angle called decollement. The state of stress on the decollement has a major control on the dynamics of the prism. The relation between the taper angle, faulting sequences within the prism and the state of stress on the decollement has been extensively studied though analogue, numerical and analytical models, as well as through observation of natural objects. However, the initiation and evolution of the decollement remains an open question. In some cases the decollement uses pre-existing weaker rock levels to propagate. In other cases such as the Nankai prism decollement in Japan or the base of some Helvetic nappes in Switzerland, the decollement propagates through mostly homogeneous rocks. My research focuses on understanding the dynamic mechanisms that lead to the formation and propagation of decollement through homogeneous rocks. To achieve this, I develop and use numerical algorithms to simulate the deformation of rocks over geological time scale.
Above: Numerical simulation of the formation of an accretionary prism. Prism sediments are green, detachment sediments are orange. Warm colors (red and yellow) show the intensity of deformation (i.e. log10(second invariant of strain rate)). Strain rates lower than the imposed strain rate are not shown.
Above: Simulation for the nappe emplacement in the Helvetic Alps (Switzerland). Evolution of two models with non-linear viscoelastoplastic temperature-dependent rheology. Crystalline basement is represented in red with crosses pattern. Sediment are multicolor with a limestone pattern. Colors and patterns are passive markers. Sediment and basement are homogeneous. In these simulations rheological layering arises dynamically due to the temperature dependence of the viscosity and due to brittle-ductile transition. The upper model features a strong lower basement and the lower model a weaker one. The resulting tectonic style are, respectively, thin- and thick-skinned dominated. After Bauville and Schmalholz (2015).


Publications (Peer-Reviewed)

  • A. Bauville, and S. M. Schmalholz, 2017, Tectonic inheritance and kinematic strain localization as trigger for the formation of the Helvetic nappes, Switzerland. Swiss Journal of Geosciences, 1-12, DOI:10.1007/s00015-017-0260-9
  • S. Picazo, 0. Müntener, G. Manatschal, A. Bauville, G. Karner and C. Johnson, 2016, Mapping the nature of mantle domains in Western and Central Europe based on clinopyroxene and spinel chemistry: Evidence for mantle modification during an extensional cycle. Lithos v. 266, p. 233-263, DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2016.08.029
  • B. J. P. Kaus, A. A. Popov , T. S. Baumann, A. E. Püsök , A. Bauville, N. Fernandez and M. Collignon , 2016, Forward and inverse modelling of lithospheric deformation on geological timescales. NIC Symposium 2016 - Proceedings. NIC Series. Vol. 48. edited by K. Binder, M. Müller, A. Schnurpfeil, pp. 299-307.
  • A. Bauville and S. M. Schmalholz, 2015, Transition from thin-to thick-skinned tectonics and consequences for nappe formation: numerical simulations and applications to the Helvetic nappe system, Switzerland. Tectonophysics, v. 665, pp. 101-117, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.09.030
  • Y. Jaquet, A. Bauville and S. M. Schmalholz, 2014, Overthrusting versus folding: 2-D quantitative modeling and its application to the Helvetic and Jura fold and thrust belts. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 62, pp. 25-37, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.01.010
  • A. Pêcher, N. Arndt, A. Jean, A. Bauville, C. Ganino and C. Athurion, 2013, Structure of the Panzhihua intrusion and its Fe-Ti-V deposit, China. Geoscience Frontiers, v. 4-5, p. 571-581, DOI: 10.1016/j.gsf.2013.02.004.
  • A. Bauville and S. M. Schmalholz, 2013, Thermo-mechanical model for the finite strain gradient in kilometer-scale shear zones. Geology, v. 41, pp. 567-570, DOI: 10.1130/G33953.1
  • A. Bauville, J.-L. Epard and S. M. Schmalholz, 2013, A simple thermo-mechanical shear model applied to the Morcles fold nappe (Western Alps), Tectonophysics, v. 583, pp. 76-87, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2012.10.022
  • A. L. Butterworth, Z. Gainsforth, A. Bauville, L. Bonal, D. E. Brownlee, S. C. Fakra, G. R. Huss, D. Joswiak, M. Kunz, M. A. Marcus, K. Nagashima, R. C. Ogliore, N. Tamura, M. Telus, T. Tyliszczak and A. J. Westphal, 2010, A type IIA chondrule fragment from comet 81P/wild 2 in Stardust track C2052, 2, 74, 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Bib. Code: 2010LPI....41.2446B