Faults are not discrete planes, but rather zones of deformed rock with a complex 3D geometry and internal structure. Fault zones internal structure and related permeability distribution are primary controls on reservoir connectivity over geologic and prod uction time scales. This has major implications for hydrocarbons exploration and production, as well as for geologic CO2 sequestration. The main goal of this project is to study the seismic response of fault zones through (1) Geomechanical discrete elem ent modeling (DEM) of fault zone evolution, and (2) Seismic modeling/imaging of the DEM fault zone analogues. DEM will be performed using dense, millions of particles, simulations which will allow to define the details of fault zone evolution under differ ent tectonic/stress regimes, fault boundary conditions, rock lithologies, and sedimentation/erosion. The DEM fault zone analogues will then be seismically forward modelled using a prestack depth migration simulator which, contrary to the standard 1D convo lution, acknowledges the effects of lateral continuity and illumination (survey geometry).The results of these simulations will allow us to develop principles for the seismic characterization of fault zones. Overall, this work can shed light into the se ismic response of fault zones and the acquisition and processing parameters needed to characterize these structures with seismic. This can lead to a more realistic representation of faults in reservoir models and better forecasting of reservoir behavior a t geologic and production time scales.