Slip distribution and tectonic implication of the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake

Chen Ji, Donald V. Helmberger, Teh Ru Alex Song, Kuo Fong Ma, David J. Wald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We report on the fault complexity of the large (Mw = 7.6) Chi-Chi earthquake obtained by inverting densely and well-distributed static measurements consisting of 119 GPS and 23 doubly integrated strong motion records. We show that the slip of the Chi-Chi earthquake was concentrated on the surface of a "wedge shaped" block. The inferred geometric complexity explains the difference between the strike of the fault plane determined by long period seismic data and surface break observations. When combined with other geophysical and geological observations, the result provides a unique snapshot of tectonic deformation taking place in the form of very large (>10m) displacements of a massive wedge-shaped crustal block which may relate to the changeover from over-thrusting to subducting motion between the Philippine Sea and the Eurasian plates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4379-4382
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001


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