The Tectonophysics Section is truly interdisciplinary, with ties to seismology, geodesy, planetology, geomagnetism/paleomagnetism, and volcanology. Its members cultivate an interest in geodynamical 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.