Coseismic source model of the 2003 Mw 6.8 Chengkung earthquake, Taiwan, determined from GPS measurements

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A coseismic source model of the 2003 Mw 6.8 Chengkung, Taiwan, earthquake was well determined with 213 GPS stations, providing a unique opportunity to study the characteristics of coseismic displacements of a high-angle buried reverse fault. Horizontal coseismic displacements show fault-normal shortening across the fault trace. Displacements on the hanging wall reveal fault-parallel and fault-normal lengthening. The largest horizontal and vertical GPS displacements reached 153 and 302 mm, respectively, in the middle part of the network. Fault geometry and slip distribution were determined by inverting GPS data using a three-dimensional (3-D) layered-elastic dislocation model. The slip is mainly concentrated within a 44 × 14 km slip patch centered at 15 km depth with peak amplitude of 126.6 cm. Results from 3-D forward-elastic model tests indicate that the dome-shaped folding on the hanging wall is reproduced with fault dips greater than 40°. Compared with the rupture area and average slip from slow slip earthquakes and a compilation of finite source models of 18 earthquakes, the Chengkung earthquake generated a larger rupture area and a lower stress drop, suggesting lower than average friction. Hence the Chengkung earthquake seems to be a transitional example between regular and slow slip earthquakes. The coseismic source model of this event indicates that the Chihshang fault is divided into a creeping segment in the north and the locked segment in the south. An average recurrence interval of 50 years for a magnitude 6.8 earthquake was estimated for the southern fault segment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB06422
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jun 4

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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