Subduction Interface Processes (SIP)


An international conference zooming on subduction zones

Within the frame of the European Initial Training Programme ZIP ("Zooming in between plates"[1]), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), through the Barcelona Center for Subsurface Imaging (Barcelona-CSI) of the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM), together with its partners and associated partners from the European ZIP Project[2] cordially invite you to participate in this international conference dedicated to understanding the nature and complex interplay between the mechanical and chemical processes that take place along and across subduction plate interfaces.

This conference will be held in Castelldefells, a few kms from Barcelona, from Tuesday April 18th to Friday April 21st, 2017.

Scientific sessions will start on the 19th at 9AM and will end on the 21th, no later than 6PM. Badge pickup, icebreaking, poster hanging and dinner will be on the 18th, starting at 5PM

Following the topical sessions organised at EGU (2011 to 2014) and AGU (2015), special emphasis will be placed on recent advances that provide novel information of the nature and properties of the subduction plate interface.

First circular of the Subduction Interface Processes (SIP) conference

Second circular

Conference Milestones  

Conference dates:                            April 18-21, 2017

Registration Deadline:                     March 15, 2017  (Registration Form)

Abstract Submission Deadline:    February 25, 2017 (Abstract Submission Form)


Subduction zones play a fundamental role in our daily life. Half of the world population lives on top or nearby one of them, in coastal areas repeatedly devastated by large earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. Giant earthquakes occurring on subduction zone mega-thrusts (Mw close to 9 or larger; with many events over the last decade: Sumatra, Chile, Japan) are indeed amongst the deadliest natural hazards. At longer-term scales, subduction zones are also areas of material transfer between the Earth's shallow structure and the deep mantle, with processes that play a key role in the evolution of continents.

Both risk assessment and lithosphere dynamics call for a better understanding of the mechanical coupling and global material transfer at and across subduction zone inter-plate boundaries. The  Subduction Interface Processes (SIP)  conference aims at promoting discussion on this subject by addressing the following fundamental questions:

  • What controls the size, location, physical limits, frequency and behaviour of earthquake ruptures along the inter-plate boundary?
  • How are stresses and energy release, via earthquakes and fluid-mediated mass transfer, focused on the plate interface?
  • What is the nature and structure of the subduction interface (which lithologies, heterogeneities, rheologies, fluids,...) and what is their bearing on earthquake ruptures and long-lived deformation?
  • How can we bridge the gap between observations made at rock and plate scale, or between signals lasting from seconds to million years? 
  • Are we able to image and understand physical conditions and processes at work along the subduction interface at relevant scales, such as years and meters?

Building on the recent wealth of data and models gathered on the structure and processes occurring at the plate-slab interface, we welcome in this conference contributions at the crossroads between different disciplines, including surface processes, structural geology and geodynamics, petrology, rheology, geochemistry, and geophysics.  The overarching goal is to foster joint collaborations and bridge the gap between the various communities.

                      Confirmed keynote speakers:
                      Geoffrey A. Abers, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA
                      Don Fisher, Penn State University, USA
                      Harry Green, UC Riverside, USA
                      Shuichi Kodaira, JAMSTEC, Japan
                      Horst Marschall, Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt, Germany
                      Lisa McNeill, National Oceanographic Center Southampton, UK
                      Jean- Mathieu Nocquet, Géosciences Azur, France
                      Hugues Raimbourg, Université d'Orléans, France
                      Stephan Sobolev, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam-GFZ, Germany
                       Kelin Wang, Geological Survey of Canada


The Subduction Interface Processes (SIP) conference will be held in the Congress Center of the Hotel Rey Don Jaime  in Castelldefels (see Location Map), which is conveniently located 15 minutes away from the Barcelona international airport (25-30€ taxi ride) and provides easy access to Barcelona by taxi or public transportation. Be prepared for a pleasant, mild climate at this time of the year too!


All meals will be provided in Hotel and are included in the registration fee. All meals are based on local products whenever possible


The key objective of this conference is to encourage discussions: authors should be as provocative and stimulating as one can be!.

Organization details:

— One single oral session with 3-4 keynote lectures / day (no parallel sessions), with a twofold focus (see the two parts below): characterization and integrated processes
— Posters on display for the whole duration of the Conference (we recommend oral presentations be prepared as posters as well to ensure maximum discussion and dissemination)
— Open discussion every evening (5:30-6:30 pm) with keynote speakers and moderators, thereby progressing towards a refined vision of the subduction interface. 

Anticipated topics 

Part 1: Nature and characterization of the plate boundary

  • High-resolution imaging, petrophysical properties
  • Control on earthquake nucleation/rupture/arrest
  • Transients and microseismicity
  • Rock diversity on the interface (at all relevant scales)
  • Distribution of deformation along/across the boundary
  • Fluid/mass transfer and source/time contributions

Part 2: Plate interface processes through space & time

  • Linking geodetic/geophysical with petrological/petrophysical data
  • Linking post/inter-seismic deformation after large earthquakes, with hazard or long-lived deformation
  • Linking deformation, mineral reactions and fluid flow
  • Modelling, 1: from the seismic cycle to long-lived deformation, including fluid/melt transport
  • Modelling, 2: from rock mixing to geodynamic models.

Oral Presentations 

Keynote presentations will be 30 minutes long (25' for presentation and 5' for questions).

Other oral presentations will be 15 minutes long (12' for presentation and 3' for questions).

Poster Presentations

All posters can be up during the whole duration of the Conference. They have to be prepared in Landscape format.The size of poser boards will be 135 cm wide x 95 cm high"

Conference Registration*

Registration will be done on line. Payment can be done through bank transfer or credit card. Four options have been designed for the registration:

  • OPTION 1 : Includes conference fee, hotel accommodation cost in individual room , lunch and dinner for the conference days and one social dinner. The cost is 660 € for early registration and 760 € for late registration.
  • OPTION 2 : Includes conference fee, hotel accommodation cost in shared room , lunch and dinner for the conference days, and one social dinner. The cost 540 € for early registration and 640 € for late registration.
  • OPTION 3: Only conference and lunch for the conference days. it does not include hotel accommodation. The cost is 395€ for early registration and 490€ for late registratiom.
  • OPTION 4:This is only for room partners not attending the conference. Includes hotel accommodations cost in shared room, lunch and dinner for the conference days. The cost is 385€

IMPORTANT!! : If you want to stay longer (in particular on the night of friday 21st) or arrive earlier in the hotel, you must contact directly GRAN HOTEL REY DON JAIME and let them know noting that you will be at this meeting first.

(*) The organization has limited funding to cover part of the registration expenses for young students. This will be treated on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested, please contact directly the organizing committee at

Conference Email

Conference Proceedings Volume

A selection of contributions from the Subdution Interface Processes (SIP) conference will be submitted for publication as a special issue of Lithos. The expected deadline of manuscript submission will be October 1st, 2017. We would appreciate your early expression of interest to contribute in this publication. We will compile a preliminary list of contributions for the publisher during the conference. 

Organizing Committee


Philippe Agard              UPMC - Inst. Sciences de la Terre à Paris
Alexia Carrillo                UPMC- Inst. Sciences de la Terre à Paris
Sara Incel                       Ecole Normale Supèrieure de Paris
Paraskevi Io Ioannidi   Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam GFZ
César Ranero               Barcelona-CSI, ICREA at CSIC, Institute of Marine Sciences
Valentí Sallarès            Barcelona-CSI. CSIC, Institute of Marine Sciences


Scientific Committee :

                       Philippe Agard - Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6
                      Gray Bebout - Lehigh University
                      Michael Bostock - University of British Columbia

                      Jun Gao - Chinese Academy of Sciences
Carlos Garrido - Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
                      Taras Gerya - Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zurich
                      Timm John - Freie Universitaet Berlin
                      Laetitia Le Pourhiet - Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6
                       Horst Marschall - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
                      Thomas Meier -  Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel
                      Onno Oncken - Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoforschungsZentrum
                      Gerassimos Papadopoulos -National Observatory of Athens
                      Thomas Pettke - Universitaet Bern
                      César Ranero - ICREA- Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies
                      François Roure - IFP- Energies nouvelles
                      Valenti Sallares - Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
                      Marco Scambelluri - Università degli Studi di Genova
                      Holger Stunitz - The University of Tromsø
                      Peter van Keken - Carnegie Institution for Science
                      Paola Vannucchi - Royal Holloway, University of London
                      Christophe Vigny - Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique

Organizing Institutions





[1] Grant Agreement N° 604713, funded by FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN

[2] Univ. P.M. Curie, Frei Univ. Berlin, CNRS, Univ. Genova, GeoForschungsZentrum, Univ. Bern, ETH Zürich, C.A. Univ. Kiel, Nat. Obs. Athens) and associated partners (Thermo Fisher, REPSOL, AF-Consult, Chinese Acad. Sciences, Univ. Catolica del Norte, Cameca, Agilent, Munich RE, ALS, AMinerals, IFP-EN)


[1] Grant Agreement N° 604713, funded by FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN

[2] Univ. P.M. Curie, Frei Univ. Berlin, CNRS, Univ. Genova, GeoForschungsZentrum, Univ. Bern, ETH Zürich, C.A. Univ. Kiel, Nat. Obs. Athens) and associated partners (Thermo Fisher, REPSOL, AF-Consult, Chinese Acad. Sciences, Univ. Catolica del Norte, Cameca, Agilent, Munich RE, ALS, AMinerals, IFP-EN)