Quick determination of earthquake source parameters from GPS measurements: A study of suitability for Taiwan

Jiun Ting Lin, Wu Lung Chang, Diego Melgar, Amanda Thomas, Chi Yu Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We test the feasibility of GPS-based rapid centroid moment tensor (GPS CMT) methods for Taiwan, one of the most earthquake prone areas in the world. In recent years, Taiwan has become a leading developer of seismometer-based earthquake early warning systems, which have successfully been applied to several large events. The rapid determination of earthquake magnitude and focal mechanism, important for a number of rapid response applications, including tsunami warning, is still challenging because of the limitations of near-field inertial recordings. This instrumental issue can be solved by an entirely different observation system: a GPS network. Taiwan is well posed to take advantage of GPS because in the last decade it has developed a very dense network. Thus, in this research, we explore the suitability of the GPS CMT inversion for Taiwan. We retrospectively investigate six moderate to large (Mw6.0 ∼ 7.0) earthquakes and propose a resolution test for our model, we find that the minimum resolvable earthquake magnitude of this system is ∼Mw5.5 (at 5 km depth). Our tests also suggest that the finite fault complexity, often challenging for the near-field methodology, can be ignored under such good station coverage and thus, can provide a fast and robust solution for large earthquake directly from the near field. Our findings help to understand and quantify how the proposed methodology could be implemented in real time and what its contributions could be to the overall earthquake monitoring system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1148-1162
Number of pages15
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Jul 2019


  • Earthquake early warning
  • Inverse theory
  • Satellite geodesy


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