The Geosciences Montpellier Analogue Modeling Laboratory is one of the top international ranked tectonic analog modeling facilities. The LMA performs 2D and 3D analog experiments covering a wide range of geological contexts (continental collision, oceanic subduction, crustal extension, etc.), and time-scales (from the orogenic cycle to the seismic cycle). It is one of the flagship equipment of the Montpellier Geosciences laboratory, and, more specifically, of the Spatial and Geophysics Imagery, Dynamics of the Lithosphere, and Geo-Reservoirs research teams,

The lab was created in the early ’80s by Jacques Malavieille who developed several original set-ups to investigate experimentally, mountain-building processes at all scales. In the ’90s, Serge Lallemand joined the lab and started developing new projects, with Jacques Malavieille, mainly focused on active margins, accretionary wedge dynamics, seamount subduction. In the 2000s, Stéphane Dominguez developed new types of equipment on the cutting edge of technology and new scientific thematics (tectonics/erosion interactions, seismic cycle, etc.). All the new technical developments were made possible thanks to the effective help of motivated assistant engineers; Bernard Sanche (1985-2000), Eric Berthebaud (2001-2002), and Christian Romano (2003-2020). -> History


What’s NEW?

-> October  2023: Clément Garcia-Estève defended his PhD. Influence des évènements extrêmes sur la morphologie des paysages / Influence of extreme events on landscape morphology.

-> September  2023: The latest GEOMOD Conference was held in PARIS. Download the full program with abstracts

-> February  2023: We just performed successfully the two last complementary experiments (n°11 and n°12) of Clément Garcia-Estève’s PhD. During the same month, we also started preparing the experimental set-ups to resume the subduction zone seismic cycle experiments in March or April. The 2D and the 3D megathrust earthquake machines are almost ready ;->!

-> January  2023: We organized the second edition of the PYRENEX Challenge with the GER Master students (see the update in the dedicated post: PYRENEAN Challenge). Congratulations to the students.

-> From September to the beginning of December 2022: We worked hard to accumulate more than 10 normalized 3D geomorphic experiments (Garcia-Estève’s PhD). A quite complex task considering the time spent preparing and running the experiments (more than 40 full days) and the huge amount of 3D measurements to be processed (about 1 To of data).

-> July  2022: The first applications of the new MATV analog material are being performed as part of Clément Garcia-Estève’s PhD: “Investigating the Impacts of Extreme Events on Landscape Geomorphology“.

  • April 2022: Here is our new 3D scanner ! A Shining 3D EinScan HX purchased from Addishape and financed by the University of Montpellier.
  • First DEMs are beautiful ;-> ! We will post some examples in the Gallery.

-> March 2022: The measurements of the new MATV analog material properties are (finally) completed. Time to write the corresponding manuscript: “The MATV, an improved analog material to investigate landscape geomorphologic evolution in active Tectonic Settings“.

-> September 2021: All the main headings of the website have been updated. A new post is being drafted: The Pyrenean Challenge.

Garcia-Estève, C., Caniven, Y., Cattin, R., Dominguez, S. and R. Sylvain, 2021. Morphotectonic evolution of an alluvial fan: results of a joint analog and numerical modeling approach, in press in Geosciences

-> March 2021: The TECMOD-France website has been updated. The new ISTerre analog modeling lab of Chambéry (Savoie-Mont Blanc University) just joined the network. (See Here).

  • February 2021: Some experimental activities of the LMA are still impacted by the COVID situation but the analog modeling experiments have resumed. We are updating our MatIV analog material with Romain Sylvain (Master thesis student)
  • Mat V is coming soon ;-> !

  • January 2021: Some parts of the LMA website are still under construction, and will be updated soon as possible. Enjoy your First visit ;-> !

  • Happy New Year 2021: Good News! 3 LMA related publications are on their way to be published:

Caniven, Y., and Dominguez, S., 2021. Validation of a multilayered analog model integrating crust-mantle visco-elastic coupling to investigate subduction megathrust earthquake cycle, JGR, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020342 -> PDF

Mayolle, S., Roger, S., Dominguez, S., Wibberley, C., and Caniven, Y., 2021. Non-linear fault damage zone scaling revealed through analog modeling, Geology, 49 (8): 968–972. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G48760.1

Strzerzynski, P., Dominguez, S., Boudiaf, A., Déverchère, J., 2021. Tectonic inversion and geomorphic evolution of the Algerian margin since Messinian times: Insights from new onshore/offshore analog modeling experiments, Tectonics, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020TC006369 -> PDF.

  • October 2020: Clément GARCIA-ESTEVE just started his Ph.D.: Impact of extreme events on landscape evolution (advisers: Rodolphe Cattin and Stéphane Dominguez).
  • Since June 2020, the laboratory INFRASTRUCTURES are being UPDATED to prepare the resume of research activities as soon as the Covid lockdown will be lifted.