Conjugate thrust faulting associated with the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake sequence

Kou Cheng Chen, Bor Shouh Huang, Jeen Hwa Wang, Horng Yuan Yen

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36 Scopus citations


The geometrical structure of the responsible faults of the 20 September 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake (ML = 7.3, Mw = 7.6) and its aftershocks can be clearly depicted by well-located hypocenters and focal mechanisms of large aftershocks. The mainshock and two large aftershocks with ML = 6.8 were characterized by thrust faulting along a N-S striking fault plane dipping to the east. The underground structure of the Chelungpu fault, which is probably merging with the decollement beneath the Western Foothills, can be clearly associated with the seismicity pattern and the focal mechanisms of the three largest events. A group of deeper aftershocks including two moderate events (ML = 6.3 and 6.0, respectively) were located to the southeast of the mainshock along a fault plane dipping steeply to the west down to a depth of about 30 km. Our results suggest that the spatial pattern of the aftershocks in the southern part of the source area can be interpreted by a conjugate-fault system. This conjugate-fault system is comprised of the gently east-dipping Chelungpu fault and a steeply west-dipping deeper fault zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1277
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2002


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