A midcrustal ramp-fault structure beneath the Taiwan tectonic wedge illuminated by the 2013 Nantou earthquake series

Ray Y. Chuang, Kaj M. Johnson, Yih Min Wu, Kuo En Ching, Long Chen Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Taiwan's active mountain belt is a spotlight for orogenic studies and was first used to test the critical-taper wedge mechanics. The concept of an orogenic wedge above a shallow detachment surface has been highly influential on current understanding of orogenic processes in Taiwan. However, the recent ML 6.2 and ML 6.5 2013 Nantou reverse-faulting earthquakes in central Taiwan have nucleated below the proposed detachment, indicating that active mountain building is occurring below the orogenic wedge. We estimate the coseismic slip distributions and fault geometry using the uniform stress drop slip inversions. The earthquakes occur on essentially the same 30° dipping fault plane ramping up from ∼20 km depth near a cluster of 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake aftershocks to the shallow detachment and the Chi-Chi fault plane. The fault could be a deep extension of a mature shallow fault or a newly developed deep ramp fault that is not reflected in the surface geology. Key Points Recent Taiwan earthquakes illuminates thrust below tectonic wedge Slip inversion show rupture at 5 to 19 km depths on the deep thrust The fault links lower-crust activity to shallow detachment and ramps

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5080-5084
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume40
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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