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Segmentation and Recent rupture history of the Xianshuihe Fault, Southwestern China

Allen, Clarence R. and Zhuoli, Luo and Hong, Qian and Xueze, Wen and Huawei, Zhou and Weishi, Huang (1989) Segmentation and Recent rupture history of the Xianshuihe Fault, Southwestern China. In: Fault segmentation and controls of rupture initiation and termination. U.S. Geological Survey open-file report. No.89-315. , pp. 10-30.

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Tibetan Plateau in western Sichuan Province, China, is one of the world's most active faults, having produced at least 8 earthquakes of M ≥ 7 since 1725 on a 350-km-long segment of the fault. In the more limited 150-km long northern segment including Luhuo and Daofu, 5 earthquakes of M ≥ 6.9 have occurred during the past 100 years alone, with well documented overlapping surface ruptures. Some of these events were remarkably similar in magnitude and location to earlier historic events, suggesting that the characteristic earthquake model may apply here. No obvious geometric segmentation characterizes the smoothly curving Luhuo-Daofu sector, although its ends are marked by major left-stepping en echelon offsets that have also been the terminating points of individual earthquake ruptures. Minor en echelon offsets and bends within this segment are associated with local vertical relief, and one 9° bend is located close to the epicenter of the 1973 Luhuo earthquake (M = 7.6). In the southern sector of the Xianshuihe fault, south of Qianning, the faults splits into several branches, one of which broke over its entire 27-km length during the 1955 Kangding earthquake (M = 7.5). The main fault near Kangding is characterized by a series of restraining and releasing bends, associated with corresponding topography, and these bends may be related to the fact that this southern segment of the fault seems to be characterized by infrequent great earthquakes (e.g., M = 7-3/4 in 1786) rather than by more frequent moderate earthquakes (M = ± 7) such as those that characterize the straighter and more continuous Luhuo-Daofu sector to the north. Continuing creep has been documented along some segments of the fault, and this, together with its high degree of activity, superb high-altitude exposures, and other unique attributes, make the Xianshuihe fault one of the most promising sites in the world for earthquake-prediction, hazard-evaluation, and segmentation studies.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 1989 USGS. This study was carried out under the protocol for scientific and technical cooperation in earthquake studies between the State Seismological Bureau of the People's Republic of China and the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation. The field study was sponsored by the Seismological Bureau of Sichuan Province. American participation was supported by U.S. Geological Survey Grant No. 14-08-0001-G1088. Contribution No. 4612, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.
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Seismological Bureau of Sichuan ProvinceUNSPECIFIED
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences4612
Series Name:U.S. Geological Survey open-file report
Issue or Number:89-315
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150120-085958276
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:53858
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Jan 2015 17:15
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:53

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