Estimation of Seismic Ground Motions and Attendant Potential Human Fatalities from Scenario Earthquakes on the Chishan Fault in Southern Taiwan

  • Author(s): Kun-Sung Liu
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2017.01.06.01
  • Keywords: Chishan Fault, Potential Human Fatality, Ground Motion, ShakeMap, Southern Taiwan
  • To estimate maximum ground motions in southern Taiwan in the form of ShakeMaps
  • Assess potential human fatalities from scenario earthquakes on the Chishan fault
  • Serve as critical information for emergency response planning
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to estimate maximum ground motions in southern Taiwan in the form of ShakeMaps as well as to assess potential human fatalities from scenario earthquakes on the Chishan active faults in this area. The resultant ShakeMap patterns of maximum ground motion in a case of Mw7.2 show the areas of PGA above 400 gals are located in the northeastern, central and northern parts of southwestern Kaohsiung as well as the southern part of central Tainan, as shown in the regions inside the yellow lines in Figure 7. Comparing cities with similar distances located in Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung to the Chishan fault, the cities in Tainan area have relatively greater PGA and PGV, due to large site response factors in Tainan area. Furthermore, seismic hazards in terms of PGA and PGV in the vicinity of the Chishan fault are not completely dominated by the Chishan fault. The main reason is that some areas located in the vicinity of the Chishan fault are marked with low site response amplification values from 0.55 to 1.1 and 0.67 to 1.22 for PGA and PGV, respectively. Finally, from estimation of potential human fatalities from scenario earthquakes on the Chishan active fault, it is noted that potential fatalities increase rapidly in people above age 45. Total fatalities reach a high peak in age groups of 55–64. Another to pay special attentionis Kaohsiung City has more than 540thousand households whose residences over 50 years old. When a strong earthquake strikes, these old houses are vulnerable to collapse. In light of the results of this study, I urge both the municipal and central governments to take effective seismic hazard mitigation measures in the highly urbanized areas with a large number of old buildings in southern Taiwan.

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