Skip to main content

Stephan Mueller Medal 2024 Yann Klinger

EGU logo

European Geosciences Union

Yann Klinger

Yann Klinger
Yann Klinger

The 2024 Stephan Mueller Medal is awarded to Yann Klinger for his exceptional interdisciplinary contribution to the fields of seismology and palaeo-seismology, in particular, for his groundbreaking development of space seismology.

The 2024 Tectonics and Structural Geology Division medal is awarded to Yann Klinger for his exceptional contribution to the fields of seismology and palaeo-seismology. Yann Klinger is internationally recognised for his expertise and innovative research in earthquake system science using an interdisciplinary approach, integrating satellite geodesy, high resolution satellite imagery/topography, meticulous field mapping, palaeoseismology and seismology data, seismic modeling and, more recently, laboratory & numerical experiments. Yann Klinger has been a leader in the development of new techniques for palaeoseismology including 3D trenching. His development of ‘space seismology’ has been truly groundbreaking, allowing identification of continental ruptures and surface deformation through time. His public-domain tool ‘MitMat’ is now widely used for comparing before and after images of regions affected by earthquakes, detecting topography and ground deformation from satellite imagery.

Klinger has worked on active intracontinental deformation systems around the world, focusing on large strike-slip fault systems. Starting with extensive work on the Dead Sea Fault, he has gone on to study active fault systems including in California, Mongolia, Tibet/China and the Himalayas. He is known for his rapid response to seismic events, organising and carrying out detailed field investigations in collaboration with colleagues, often in remote and difficult terrains. His work has had a profound impact on the understanding of fault behavior and earthquake mechanics including rupture propagation, thus contributing significantly to seismic hazard modelling. Based on systematic analyses of surface rupture geometry and of seismological kinematic inversion, he and collaborators have notably developed new insights into the scaling between fault segmentation and crustal thickness, fault segmentation and its relation to the earthquake cycle and recurrence and to fault-surface roughness. His research scope has always included fundamental geodynamic issues such as super-shear and barriers to rupture.

As leader of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris Tectonics Group, Yann Klinger has generously shared his knowledge, providing guidance to early career researchers and fostering an inclusive and supportive research environment. As a dedicated educator he has supervised numerous doctoral candidates and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to notable careers. He has organized an international annual student conference and orchestrated a ‘zoominar’ for early career researchers during the COVID pandemic, thus providing an invaluable platform for exchange and discussion for a beleaguered science community (DeTect Talk Series). These recorded talks are now a valuable online resource.

Yann Klinger has consistently promoted international exchange and collaboration with many countries including China, Turkey and Japan. He has served on key international and national advisory boards, evaluation committees and editorial boards as well as organising excellent meetings and conference sessions including at the EGU General Assembly. He has advised and worked widely with national and international institutes and government bodies in the field of earthquake hazard and risk assessment. He been recognised by honours including the distinguished Miller Professor award at University of California Berkley in 2020 and the Pierre Pruvost award of the French Geological Society in 2021.

For all these reasons, Yann Klinger is a worthy recipient of the 2024 Tectonics and Structural Geology Division Medal.