Strain and stress field in Taiwan oblique convergent system: Constraints from GPS observation and tectonic data

Chung Pai Chang, Tsui Yu Chang, Jacques Angelier, Honn Kao, Jian Cheng Lee, Shui Beih Yu

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This paper focuses on the stress and strain rate field of the Taiwan area. The strain rate field in the Taiwan region is studied qualitatively and quantitatively, based on the GPS observation in 1990-1995. It reflects the accommodation of the ongoing lithospheric deformation within the seismogenic portion of lithosphere and exhibits zones with contrasting deformation modes and amounts. We then compare the obtained strain rate field with the tectonic information provided by studies of borehole breakouts and earthquake focal mechanisms for the Present, and by fault slip data analyses for the Quaternary period. In the first approximation, the stress and strain rate fields show spatial similarity. The orientation of principal shortening is generally consistent with the compressive stress orientation that reflects the oblique indentation of the Luzon Arc into the Eurasian continental margin. In more detail, significant anomalies in the deformation pattern deserve consideration in that they may reveal ongoing stress accumulation. Despite the short-term variations related to the earthquake cycle, some major features of the strain rate field, including the distribution of extension and compression, highlight the long-term tectonic behavior of the mountain belt at the lithospheric scale. The time and space variations of strain should be a function of local heterogeneity and be transferred between interseismic and coseismic periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-127
Number of pages13
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2003


  • GPS
  • Strain
  • Stress
  • Taiwan


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