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Source process of the Chi-Chi, Taiwan earthquake of September 21, 1999 inferred from teleseismic body waves

Source process of the Chi-Chi, Taiwan earthquake of September 21, 1999 inferred from teleseismic body waves

Bulletin of the Earthquake Research Institute = Tokyo Daigaku Jishin Kenkyusho Iho 75, Part 1: 1-13

Teleseismic body waves recorded at IRIS Global Seismographic Network are analyzed to investigate the source rupture process of the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake. The azimuthal coverage of seismograph stations is good enough to resolve some details of heterogeneous moment-release. The source parameters obtained for the total source are: (strike, dip, slip) = (22 degrees , 25 degrees , 67 degrees ); the seismic moment = 2.8X10 (super 20) [Nm] (Mw = 7.6); the source duration = 30 [s]; the fault area = 75X40 [km (super 2) ]; the average dislocation = 3.1 [m]; the stress drop = 4.2 [MPa]. These values reveal typical features of large subduction zone earthquakes. A notable aspect of this earthquake lies in the highly heterogeneous manner of the moment-release. In the southern source area including the initial break, several small subevents were derived, which may be interpreted as ruptures of fault patches with a smaller length-scale. On the other hand, two large asperities with a length-scale of 20 km were obtained in the northern part of the source area: one in a shallow western part and the other in a deeper eastern part. The local stress drop on the former asperity was as high as 20 MPa and the fault slip exceeded 8 m, which is comparable to the ground displacement as inferred from both strong motion and GPS data. A high dip-angle nature of branch-faults in accretionary prism resulted in a considerable uplift of the hanging wall.

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