Active Tectonics

General Information


The graduate program in Active Tectonics is designed to familiarize students with earthquake geology, earthquake hazard and its assessment. Active Tectonics program provides a link between seismology and active tectonics for a comprehensive integration and understanding of earthquakes, and providing a full background to students who feel themselves as an expert in the solution of earthquake and earthquake-induced problems.





The main objectives are:

  • To enhance the student's training for professional work in active tectonics through the completion of fundamental courses, both in seismology and active tectonic fields and begin independent work and specialization.
  • To enable students to develop the skills needed to conduct original investigations and extract data in active tectonics, to interpret results, and to present the data and conclusions both in publishable manner and in the solution of earthquake-induced problems.




Research Areas


Active tectonics has a very broad range of research areas. Some of them are as follows:

  • Site-selection studies for both settlements and construction of engineering structures
  • Earthquake prediction studies
  • Fault segmentation and determination of seismic gaps
  • Preparation of active fault maps
  • Preparation of seismotectonic maps
  • Calculation of maximum earthquake magnitudes
  • Preparation of earthquake hazard maps
  • Preparation of land-use map or thematic map for the purpose of city and regional planning
  • Investigation of plates and their interactions at global scale
  • Investigation and field geological mapping of active faults, their geometry, origin, kinematics and earthquake potential
  • Investigation of landforms resulting from the deformations of earth and their analysis with airborne and space-borne images
  • Field geological mapping of sediments accumulated in active fault-controlled basins
  • Grain-size analysis of sediments and their liquefaction capacities
  • Techniques of data collection in the field, and their laboratory and computer analysis
  • Construction of geological cross-sections and interpretation of geological maps
  • Formation and evolutionary history of active tectonic basins
  • Geologic hazards (Tsunamis resulted from both earthquakes and volcanic eruptions)
  • Investigation of historical and pre-historical earthquakes and their role in archeological ruins
  • Interpretation of seismograms and determination of earthquake source mechanisms (magnitude, amount of releasing energy, coordinates and source of seismic events)
  • Kinematics and dynamics of earthquakes
  • Wave propagation in layered media
  • Methods of seismic data acquisition and seismic data processing for various purposes
  • Investigation of crustal thickness variations
  • Investigation of strain accumulation and determination of probable sites of future devastative earthquakes
  • Investigation of historical earthquakes (earthquake cycles), fracture propagation and calculation of length of earthquake ruptures
  • Investigation on isotope geochemistry of fault-induced thermal spring water and their utilization in earthquake prediction
  • Investigation of sea-level fluctuations
  • Extraction of geological, geophysical and environmental data from satellite images, and their utilization in solution of earthquake-induced problems
  • Paleoseismological studies (trenching, determination of historical and pre-historical earthquakes, total displacement and its duration, slip rates and return periods of ground rupture-forming earthquakes)
  • Space and terrestrial geodetic methods and their utilization to extract data for crustal deformation and Earth's material behavior.






First Semester Second Semester

EQS 503 Seismology

GEOE 621 Neotectonics or GEOE 501 Global Tectonics

2 Elective course

EQS 501 Earthquake Disaster Policies or EQS 508 Principles of Disaster Risk Reduction

CE 5603 Seismic Assessment

Third Semester Fourth Semester

GEOE Ethics (without credit)

2 elective courses
EQS 590 Seminar (0-2) NC

EQS 500 M.S. Thesis (0-2) NC

Students who have taken any of the compulsory courses earlier will take elective courses instead.

M.S. Program (with Thesis)

4 compulsory courses
4 elective courses
EQS 590 Seminar (0-2) NC
EQS 500 M. S. Thesis (0-2) NC
Minimum 24 credits



Courses for Active Tectonics


  • Deficiency Courses


    These are the courses that should be taken from the following list as required by the graduate student advisor.
    • Field Geological Mapping (GEOE 327)
    • Structural Geology (GEOE 313)
  • Compulsory Courses
    • Earthquake Disaster Policies (EQS 501)
    • Seismology (EQS 503)
    • Neotectonics (GEOE 621)
    • GPS in Active Tectonics (GEOE 713)
    • Topics in Active Tectonics (GEOE 717)
    • EQS 590 Seminar
    • Elective Courses

Earthquake Studies Program Courses

      • Fundamentals of Earthquake Studies (EQS 505)
      • Ionospheric Effects as the Precursors of the Earthquake (EQS 507)

Courses from the Department of Geological Engineering

      • Photogeology (GEOE 409)
      • Introduction to Remote Sensing (GEOE 431)
      • Advanced Photogeology (GEOE 506)
      • Remote Sensing (GEOE 528)
      • Microtectonics (GEOE 533)
      • Hydrocarbon Seismology (GEOE 547)
      • Geographic Information Systems in Earth Sciences (GEOE 557)

Courses from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

      • Digital Signal Processing (EE 430)

Courses from the Department of Civil Engineering

      • Introduction to Soil Dynamics (CE 467)
      • Space Geodesy I (CE 509)
      • Advanced Geodesy (CE 513)
      • Environmental Geotechnics (CE 561)
      • Soil Dynamics (CE 568)
      • Engineering Decision and Risk Analysis (CE 735)
      • Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (CE 5601)
      • Seismic Hazard Assessment (CE 5603)

Courses from the Department of City and Regional Planning

      • Issues in Urban Archaeology (CP 517)
      • The Urban Design and Planning Process (CP 541)

Courses from the Geodetic and Geographic Information Technologies Program

      • GIS and RS in Disaster Management (GGIT 532)
      • Principles of Remote Sensing (GGIT 560)

Note: Number of alternative elective courses can be increased.