Introduction to the special issue on the 2016 Meinong, Taiwan, earthquake


Right after the 2010 Chiashian earthquake, there have been five M ~6 mid- to lower crust events occurred inland Taiwan, in which the 2016 Meinong earthquake is the most devastated. The 6 February 2016 ML 6.4 Meinong earthquake (03:57:27 local time) occurred at about 35 km ESE of the Tainan city with a focal depth of 16.7 km. It is a moderate-sized event, however, produced widespread strong shaking in the 35-km-away Tainan city and caused about 10 buildings collapsed and 117 death. In addition, significant aftershocks occurred right beneath the Tainan city with focal depths reaching 30 km at the lower crust, which has never been observed in inland SW Taiwan. The Taiwan Earthquake Model (TEM) announced a seismic hazard map of Taiwan in the end of 2015 and indicated a relatively high seismic hazard in Tainan (Rau and Ma 2016; Wang et al. 2016). Although the TEM model does not account for the blind faults as shown by the 2016 Meinong event, such an event occurred at this location was considered as an area source in the TEM model and the extremely high strain rate, ~10-6 in SW Taiwan anticipates the reactivations of any pre-existing structures in this highly deformed crust. The scientific uniqueness and unexpectedly severe hazard in Tainan drive us to better understand the nature of the 2016 Meinong earthquake sequence in both scientific and engineering aspects.

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