Observation and scaling of microearthquakes from the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault borehole seismometers

Yen Yu Lin, Kuo Fong Ma, Volker Oye

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13 Scopus citations


Microearthquakes with magnitude down to 0.3 were detected by the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project Borehole Seismometers (TCDPBHS). Despite the large coseismic slip of 12m at the drill site during the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake, our studies show very little seismicity near the TCDPBHS drill site 6 yr after the Chi-Chi main shock. The microearthquakes clustered at a depth of 9-12 km, where the Chelungpu thrust fault turns from a 30° dipping into the horizontal decollement of the Taiwan fold-and-thrust tectonic structure. Continuous GPS surveys did not observe post-slip deformation at the larger slip region and no seismicity was observed near the drill site. Therefore we suggest that the thrust belt above the decollement is locked during this interseismic period. We further investigated source parameters of 242 microearthquakes by fitting ω -2-shaped Brune source spectra to our observation data using a frequency-independent Q model. We find that the static stress drop increases significantly with increasing seismic moment. However, due to the intense debate on this topic of scaling-relations and the related self-similarity of earthquakes, we further improve the data analysis and correct for path and site effects using the Projected Landweber Deconvolution (PLD) method for events within some clusters. The PLD method analyses the source time functions of the larger and the smaller event by an iterative technique. As a result we received source dimensions and stress drops of larger events including path and site effect corrections. The results from the PLD method are less scattered and also show a positive relation between static stress drop and seismic moment. We find a similar positive trend for the apparent stress scaling with seismic moment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-676
Number of pages12
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Dynamics: seismotectonics
  • Earthquake source observations
  • Seismicity and tectonics


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