Earthquake probabilities and energy characteristics of seismicity offshore southwest Taiwan

Po Fei Chen, Andrew V. Newman, Tso Ren Wu, Ching Ching Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We characterize fault geometries for moderate and large earthquakes in and offshore southwest (SW) Taiwan. Stress orientation estimates suggest that the first shock of the Pingtung earthquake may be characterized by slab flexure. A region of predominately normal-faulting earthquakes is also defined. Using the maximum-likelihood Gutenberg-Richter relation, we find that the repeat times for magnitude, M ≧ 6.5 and M ≧ 7.0 earthquakes are approximately 30 and 80 years, respectively. By assuming a Gaussian probability distribution with a standard deviation of 0.4 the recurrence time, we estimate a 50% probability of an M ≧ 6.5 earthquake recurring in the next 3 0 years, while only a 20% probability of an M ≧ 7.0 in the next 50 years. To test the empirical relation that is currently being used to convert ML to seismic moment (M0), we test the well-defined energy to moment ratio (E/M0) for the region. We additionally utilize this method to identify the lack of slow-source earthquakes in several recent offshore events in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-703
Number of pages7
JournalTerrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Earthquake probability
  • Gutenberg-Richter relation
  • Taiwan seismicity
  • Tsunami earthquake


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