Illustrating 100 Years of Taiwan Seismicity

Abstract

The instrumental observation of earthquakes in Taiwan has been initiated since 1898. Up to 1997, about 170,000 earthquakes have been accumulated in the earthquake catalog. It is interesting review this 100 year seismicity at the end of this century. In this paper, we illustrate the distributions of these earthquakes using different plotting techniques, under different categories to exhibit the nature of their occurrences. Some interesting earthquake distribution patterns are discovered, which may not be noticed before. It is no doubt that Taiwan earthquakes are stimulated by tectonic movement around the island. By ultilizing earthquake distribution figures, we attempt to relate the seismicity to the tectonics. Four seismic systems which may be drived from different tectonic interactions are taken to describe their particular seismicity patterns. Many interesting features of the tectonic movement can be explained by a careful examination of the seismicity distributions. Besides, we also hope that these well documented earthquake figures will be useful for other purposes or simply for general science education.

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