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Slip rates on the Chelungpu and Chushiang thrust faults inferred from a deformed strath terrace along the Dungpuna river, west central Taiwan

Simoes, Martine and Avouac, Jean-Philippe and Chen, Yue-Gau (2007) Slip rates on the Chelungpu and Chushiang thrust faults inferred from a deformed strath terrace along the Dungpuna river, west central Taiwan. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 112 (B3). Art. No. B03S10 . ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2005JB004200.

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The Chelungpu fault produced the September 1999 M_w = 7.6 Chi-Chi earthquake, central Taiwan. The shortening rate accommodated by this structure, integrated over several seismic cycles, and its contribution to crustal shortening across the Taiwanese range have remained unresolved. To address the issues, we focus our study on the Chelungpu and Chushiang thrust faults within the southernmost portion of the Chi-Chi rupture area. Structural measurements and available seismic profiles are used to infer the subsurface geometry of structures. The Chushiang and Chelungpu faults appear as two splay faults branching onto a common ramp that further north connects only to the Chelungpu surface trace. We survey a deformed strath terrace along the Dungpuna river, buried under a 11,540 ± 309 years old fill deposit. Given this age, the dip angles of the faults, and the vertical throw determined from the offset of the strath terrace across the surface fault traces, we estimate slip rates of 12.9 ± 4.8 and 2.9 ± 1.6 mm/yr on the Chelungpu and Chushiang faults, respectively. These yield a total shortening rate of 15.8 ± 5.1 mm/yr to be absorbed on their common decollement at depth. This total value is an upper bound for the slip rate on the Chelungpu fault further north, where the Chushiang fault disappears and transfers shortening to adjacent faults. Combining these results with the recently constrained shortening rate on the Changhua blind thrust reveals that all these frontal faults presently absorb most of the long-term horizontal shortening across the Taiwanese range. They thus stand as the major sources of seismic hazards in this heavily populated area. The return period of earthquakes similar to the Chi-Chi event over a ∼80 km long stretch of the Western Foothills is estimated to be ~64 years. This value is an underestimate because it assumes that all the faults locked during the interseismic period slip only during such large events. Comparison with historical seismicity suggests that episodic aseismic deformation might also play a major role in accommodating shortening.

Item Type:Article
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Avouac, Jean-Philippe0000-0002-3060-8442
Chen, Yue-Gau0000-0002-8693-583X
Additional Information:© 2007 American Geophysical Union. Received 1 December 2005; revised 29 June 2006; accepted 29 August 2006; published 9 February 2007. The authors thank O. Beyssac (CNRS-ENS, France), Y.-C. Chan (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), J.-C. Hu (NTU, Taiwan), and S. Bernard (ENS, France) for their valuable help and support in the field. The RTK GPS and laser-range systems that allowed for surveying the strath surface were kindly provided by the CEA (France), Academia Sinica (Taiwan), respectively. Constructive reviews by N. Lundberg and A. Densmore and by Associate Editor J. Dolan helped improve this manuscript. These investigations were initiated thanks to a grant to J.P.A. from CNRS/INSU (France). This study was also partly funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This is Caltech Tectonics Observatory contribution 44.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Caltech Tectonics Observatory. Taiwan Tectonics and Seismicity, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et Physique des Particules (CNRS/IN2P3) (France)UNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Chelungpu fault; kinematics; seismic hazards
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Caltech Tectonics Observatory44
Issue or Number:B3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101116-080938475
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Official Citation:Simoes, M., J. P. Avouac, and Y.-G. Chen (2007), Slip rates on the Chelungpu and Chushiang thrust faults inferred from a deformed strath terrace along the Dungpuna river, west central Taiwan, J. Geophys. Res., 112, B03S10, doi:10.1029/2005JB004200
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20820
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Nov 2010 21:50
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 00:03

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