Fault Orientation Determination for the 4 March 2008 Taoyuan Earthquake from Dense Near-Source Seismic Observations


On 4 March 2008, a moderate earthquake (ML = 5.2) occurred in southern Taiwan and named as the Taoyuan earthquake, preceded by foreshocks and followed by numerous aftershocks. This earthquake sequence occurred during the TAIGER (TAiwan Integrated GEodynamics Research) controlled-source seismic experiment. Consequently, several seismic networks were deployed in the Taiwan area at this time and many stations recorded this earthquake sequence in the near-source region. We archived and processed near-source observations to determine the fault orientation. To locate the events more accurately, station corrections, waveform cross-correlation to pick seismic phases, and a double-difference earthquake location algorithm were used to compute earthquake hypocenters. Over a 50-hour recording period, beginning half an hour before the start of the main shock, 2340 events were identified within the earthquake sequence. The identified aftershocks reveal a clear fault plane with a strike of N37°E and a dip of 45°SE. This plane corresponds to one of the focal mechanism nodal planes determined by the Broadband Array in Taiwan for Seismology (BATS) (strike = 37°, dip = 48°, and rake = 96°). Based on the main shock focal mechanism, the aftershock distribution, and the regional geological reports, we suggest that faulting on the northern extension of the major regional active fault, the Chishan Fault, caused the Taoyuan earthquake sequence.

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