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Seismotectonics of the 2008 and 2009 Qaidam Earthquakes and its Implication for Regional Tectonics

Chen, Guihua and Xu, Xiwei and Zhu, Ailan and Zhang, Xiaoqing and Yuan, Renmao and Klinger, Yann and Nocquet, Jean-Mathieu (2013) Seismotectonics of the 2008 and 2009 Qaidam Earthquakes and its Implication for Regional Tectonics. Acta Geologica Sinica-English Edtion, 87 (2). pp. 618-628. ISSN 1755-6724.

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Three magnitude >6 earthquakes struck Qaidam, Qinghai province, China, in November 10th 2008, August 28th and 31st 2009 respectively. The Zongwulongshan fault has often been designated as the active seismogenic structure, although it is at odd with the data. Our continuous GPS station (CGPS), the Xiao Qaidam station, located in the north of the Qaidam basin, is less than 30 km to the southwest of the 2008 earthquake. This CGPS station recorded the near field co-seismic deformation. Here we analyzed the co-seismic dislocation based on the GPS time series and the rupture processes from focal mechanism for the three earthquakes. The aftershocks were relocated to constrain the spatial characteristics of the 2008 and 2009 Qaidam earthquakes. Field geological and geomorphological investigation and interpretation of satellite images show that the Xitieshan fault and Zongwulongshan fault were activated as left lateral thrust during the late Quaternary. Evidence of folding can also be identified. Integrated analyses based on our data and the regional tectonic environment show that the Xitieshan fault is the fault responsible for the 2008 Qaidam earthquake, which is a low dip angle thrust with left lateral strike slip. The Zongwulongshan fault is the seismogenic fault of the 2009 earthquakes, which is a south dipping back thrust of the northern marginal thrust system of the Qaidam basin. Folding takes a significant part of the deformation in the northern marginal thrust system of the Qaidam basin, dominating the contemporary structure style of the northern margin of the Qaidam basin and Qilianshan tectonic system. In this region, this fault and fold system dominates the earthquake activities with frequent small magnitude earthquakes.

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Additional Information:© 2013 Geological Society of China. Manuscript received June 20, 2012, accepted Oct. 28, 2012. Article first published online: 25 Apr. 2013. Edited by Liu Lian. This research is financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40802052). Part of the installation of the CGPS network was funded through a cooperation between the CEA and the French ANR funding agency (N° ANR-05-CATT-006). We are grateful to Chang Zhenguang and his colleagues of Golmud Seismologic Bureau for their field help and support. We also appreciate Pro. Fu Bihong and another reviewer, their helpful comments improved our manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China40802052
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-05-CATT-006
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: Qaidam earthquakes; seismotectonics; Xitieshan fault; Zongwulongshan fault; structure style
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130624-073411272
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Official Citation:Guihua, C., Xiwei, X., Ailan, Z., Xiaoqing, Z., Renmao, Y., KLINGER, Y. and NOCQUET, J.-M. (2013), Seismotectonics of the 2008 and 2009 Qaidam Earthquakes and its Implication for Regional Tectonics. Acta Geologica Sinica - English Edition, 87: 618–628. doi: 10.1111/1755-6724.12072
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39039
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:24 Jun 2013 16:36
Last Modified:15 Nov 2019 18:38

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