Alexandre I. Chemenda
(alias Shemenda)

Professor of Geology and Geophysics
Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis
Géosciences Azur, UMR 6526
250 Rue Albert Einstein - Sophia Antipolis
06560 Valbonne, France
Tel.: 04




Educational background

M.S., 1977, Moscow Physical-Technical Institute (MFTI), Department of Aerodynamics and Space Investigations

Ph.D., 1981, Institute of Oceanology, USSR Academy of Sciences



Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis: Professor Fig. 1


Université Montpellier II, France: Visiting Professor


National Central University, Taiwan: Visiting Professor


Research Center Geosphaera, USSR Academy of Sciences: Head, Laboratory of Experimental and Theoretical Geodynamics


Moscow State University: Researcher, Head, Experimental Modelling Laboratory Fig. 2


Geomechanics : Geodynamics, Thermo-Mechanics of Lithosphere, Rock and Fracture Mechanics

Techniques: Physical and Numerical Modelling, Theoretical Analysis

  • Rifting

  Failure modes under tension Fig. 3a
  Two modes of rifting Fig. 3b
  Double rift junction Fig. 3c
  Propagating rift Fig. 3d
  Influence of weakness zone Fig. 3e
  Baikal Fig. 3f

  • Spreading:

Fast ridges Fig. 4a, Fig. 4b
Slow ridges
Fig. 5

  • Oceanic Subduction:

Initiation Fig. 6a, Fig. 6b
Two principal regimes
Fig. 7a, Fig. 7b
Back-arc opening
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Oblique subduction/strain partitioning
Fig. 11

  • Continental Subduction: mountain building, and exhumation of the crust subducted to great depths:

Initial continental subduction or arc-continent collision Fig. 12a, Fig. 12b, Fig. 12c
Arc-continent collision in Taiwan Fig. 13a,
Fig. 13b
Principal regimes of mature continental subduction
Fig. 14a, Fig. 14b, Fig. 14c
Exhumation of high-pressure/low-temperature rocks
Fig. 15a, Fig. 15b
Thermo-mechanical models Fig. 16a
            Himalaya-Tibet evolution Fig. 16b
Combined experimental and numerical models

Award worth mentioning

Laureate, the USSR National Youth Prize in Science and Technology


  • Evolution of the solar system and of the Earth
  • Earth physics
  • Geomechanics
  • Geodynamics
  • Gravity and lithospheric deformation
  • Rock mechanics and rheology

Selected papers

  1. Shemenda, A.I., Subduction: Insights from Physical Modelling. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Ser. Modern Approaches in Geophysics, Netherlands, pp. 215, 1994.
  2. Shemenda, A.I., Some regularities of lithosphere deformation under tension (based on the physical modelling), USSR Acad. of Sci. Reports, 275, No 2, 346-350, 1984 (in Russian).
  3. Shemenda, A.I., Modelling of the opening mechanism for certain types of back arc basins, Oceanology, 25, No 2, 204-210, 1985.
  4. Shemenda, A.I., Model for the formation and evolution of the overlapping spreading centres, USSR Acad. of Sci. Reports, 303, No 3, 570-573, 1989.
  5. Shemenda, A.I., Results from physical modelling of horizontal lithosphere compression, USSR Acad. of Sci. Reports, 307, No 2, 345-350, 1989.
  6. Shemenda, A.I., and A.L., Groholsky, A formation and evolution of overlapping spreading centres (constrained on the basis of physical modelling), Tectonophysics, 199, 398-404, 1991.
  7. Malkin, B.V., and Shemenda, A.I. Mechanism of rifting: considerations based on results of physical modelling and on geological and geophysical data, Tectonophysics, 199, 193-210, 1991.
  8. Shemenda, A.I., Horizontal lithosphere compression and subduction: constraints provided by the physical modelling, J. Geophys. Res., 97, 11097-11116, 1992.
  9. Shemenda, A.I., and A.L., Groholsky, Physical modelling of lithosphere subduction in collision zones, Tectonophysics, 216, 273-290, 1992.
  10. Shemenda, A.I., Subduction of lithosphere and back-arc dynamics: insights from physical modeling, J. Geophys. Res., 98, 16167-16185, 1993.
  11. Shemenda, A.I., and A.L. Groholsky, Physical modeling of slow spreading, J. Geophys. Res., 99, 9137-9153, 1994.
  12. Chemenda, A.I., M. Mattauer, J. Malavieille, and A. N. Bokun, A Mechanism for syn-Collisional Deep Rock Exhumation and Associated Normal Faulting: Results from Physical Modelling, Earth and Planet Sci. Lett., 132, 225-232, 1995.
  13. Chemenda, A.I., M. Mattauer, J., and A. N. Bokun, Continental Subduction and a Mechanism for Exhumation of High-Pressure Metamorphic Rocks: New Modelling and Field Data from Oman, Earth and Planet Sci. Lett., 143, 173-182,1996.
  14. Chemenda, A.I., Yang, R. K., Hsieh, C.-H., and Groholsky, A.L., Evolutionary Model for the Taiwan Collision based on Physical Modelling, Tectonophysics, 274, 253-274, 1997a.
  15. Chemenda, A.I., P. Matte, and V. Sokolov, A Model of Paleozoic Obduction and Exhumation of High-Pressure/Low-Temperature rocks in the Southern Urals, Tectonophysics, 276, 217-227, 1997b.
  16. Chemenda, A., Burg, J.-P., and Mattauer, M., Evolutionary Model of the Himalaya-Tibet System: Geopoem Based on Modelling, Geological and Geophysical Data, Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., 174/3-4, 397-409, 2000a.
  17. Chemenda, A.I., Lallemand, S., and Bokun, A.N., Strain Partitioning in Oblique Subduction Zones and Friction Between the Plates: Constraints Provided by Physical Modeling, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 5567-5581, 2000b.
  18. Tang, J.-C., and Chemenda, Numerical Modelling of Arc-Continent Collision: Application to Taiwan, Tectonophysics 325, 23-42, 2000.
  19. Chemenda, A.I., Yang R.-K., J.-F. Stephan, Konstantinovskaya, E.A., and Ivanov, G.M., New results from physical modeling of arc-continent collision in Taiwan: evolutionary model, Tectonophysics, 333, 159-178, 2001.
  20. Chemenda, A.I., Hurpin, D.,. Tang, J.-C., Stephan, J.-F., and Buffet, G., Arc-continent collision and mechanism for the burial and exhumation of UHP/LT rocks: constraints provided by experimental and numerical modelling, Tectonophysics, 342, 137-161, 2001.
  21. Tang, J. C., Chemenda, A. I., Chery, J., Lallemand, S., and Hassani, R., Compressional subduction regime and initial arc-continent collision: Numerical modeling: Geol. Soc. Am., v. Special paper 358, p. 177-186, 2002.
  22. Chemenda, A., J. Deverchere, and E. Calais, Three-dimensional laboratory modelling of rifting: application to the Baikal rift, Russia, Tectonophysics, 356/4, 253-273, 2002.
  23. Boutelier, D., Chemenda, A., and. Burg, J.-P., Subduction versus accretion of intra-oceanic volcanic arcs: insight from thermo-mechanical analogue experiments, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 212, 31-45, 2003.