Observation of Temporal Variations in Seismic Anisotropy Within an Active Fault-Zone Revealed From the Taiwan Chelungpu-Fault Drilling Project Borehole Seismic Array

Ruei Jiun Hung, Kuo Fong Ma, Teh Ru Alex Song, Yen Yu Lin, Matthew Weingarten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Temporal fault-zone observations are important to better understand the evolution of fault structure and stress configuration. However, long-term monitoring in the fault zone is rare after a large earthquake. Here, we use seismic data in the fault zone at 1-km depth from the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project to study long-term anisotropy after the 1999 Mw7.6 Chi-Chi earthquake. The direct S-wave splitting measurements resolve the overall weak anisotropy in the shallow crust. In order to resolve fault damage zone anisotropy, we perform coda cross-correlation technique for 794 microearthquakes between 2007 and 2013. We estimate the temporal change in background shear-wave velocity, fast shear-wave polarization direction (FSP), and strength of anisotropy (Aani) in the fault damage zone. We show the average FSP direction is N93°E with a significant Aani of about 12%, likely due to the pervasive vertical microcracks created after the earthquake. Temporal variations of anisotropy exhibit seasonal variation with periodicity every 9–12 months that correlates with rainfall events. Furthermore, long-term anisotropy shows a gradual rotation of FSP direction of about 15° during the first 4 years of observation. At the same time, the strength of anisotropy reduced from 17% to 10% and shear-wave velocity increased, suggesting the fault healed after the earthquake. This study reports in-situ evidence for two key observations: (a) long-term, fault-zone healing after a major earthquake and (b) modulation of 1-km deep fault-zone properties by surficial hydrologic processes. These observations may provide constraints on the response of the fault damage zone in the interseismic period.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JB023050
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume127
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Chi-Chi earthquake
  • coda cross-correlation
  • fault healing
  • seismic anisotropy
  • shear-wave splitting

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