Microearthquake activity around Kueishantao island, offshore northeastern Taiwan: Insights into the volcano-tectonic interactions at the tip of the southern Okinawa Trough

K. I. Konstantinou, C. Y. Pan, C. H. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Kueishantao is a volcanic island located offshore the northeastern coast of Taiwan and lies at the tip of the southern Okinawa Trough which is the back-arc basin of the Ryukyu subduction zone. Its last eruption occurred during the Holocene (~. 7. ka), hence Kueishantao can be considered as an active volcano. In an effort to better understand how magmatic processes may interact with the regional tectonics, a seismic network was installed in the area during early January 2008. This network consisted of 16 three-component seismometers located both on Kueishantao and the coast of northeastern Taiwan. One year of data was analyzed yielding 425 earthquakes whose P and S arrival times were manually picked and each event was located using a nonlinear probabilistic location method. In order to improve the location accuracy, the minimum 1-D velocity model for this dataset was derived and all earthquakes were relocated using this model. The results show a tight cluster of events near Kueishantao while the remaining earthquakes are scattered between the island and mainland Taiwan. The majority of hypocentral depths range between 2.5 and 10. km where the former depth coincides with the bottom of the shallow sedimentary layer and the latter with the ductile lower crust. Waveforms of the three largest events were also inverted for the determination of their deviatoric and full moment tensor. No statistically significant isotropic component was found, while two of the events can be explained by a double-couple source. The third event exhibited a low frequency content (<10 Hz) and a large non-double-couple component suggesting fluid involvement at its source. A stress inversion of all available focal mechanisms in the area shows that fluid circulation in the upper crust generates a local stress field around Kueishantao facilitating the opening of cracks along the NW-SE direction of regional extension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-32
Number of pages13
JournalTectonophysics
Volume593
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 May 2013

Keywords

  • Kueishantao
  • Moment tensor
  • Okinawa Trough
  • Stress field
  • Taiwan
  • Volcano

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