Jean-Luc Epard is specialized in structural and Alpine geology. His research concerns the geometry and kinematics of tectonic nappes formed in collisional-type mountain chains like the Alps and the Himalayas. Different tectonic settings are among the areas presently studied:
In the Alps:
- Simplo-Tessinoises nappes (Swiss and Italian Alps; nappe of Antigorio, Simano and Sambuco-Maggia). Further East, the Adula nappe, that suffered high-pressure metamorphism, has also been studied in a recent PhD thesis;
- Middle Penninic nappes, especially the Mont Fort nappe in the Alps of Valais (lithostratigraphy of the basement and the cover);
Helvetic and Ultrahelvetics of Western Switzerland (mapping of the root areas in Valais).
In the Indian Himalayas:
- Geometry and kinematics of the North Himalayan nappes, particularly the Tso Morari nappe subjected to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism. The surrounding units of the North Indian margin and those related to the ophiolite suture are also part of the study.
Another topic of interest is detachment folding (kinematics and balancing), particularly strain quantification at all scales. The relationship between folding, fracturing, and rock instabilities (Swiss Jura and Alberta Foothills, Canada) is one of the themes currently addressed.
These areas of research require collaboration with many specialists of the ISTE (igneous and metamorphic petrology, tectonics modeling, rock instabilities,…). In addition, many laboratories, available in the faculty, are essential to the realization of this research.