Subsurface Structure, Physical Properties, and Fault Zone Characteristics in the Scientific Drill Holes of Taiwan Chelungpu-Fault Drilling Project

  • Author(s): Jih-Hao Hung, Yun-Hao Wu, En-Chao Yeh, Jong-Chang Wu, and TCDP Scientific Party
  • DOI:


  • Keywords: Chi-Chi earthquake, Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project, Fault-zone fabrics, S-wave anisotropy

Continuous coring and a suite of geophysical measurements were collected in two scientific holes to understand physical mechanisms involved in large displacements in the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake. Physical properties of formations obtained from wire-line logs including P- and S-wave sonic velocity, gamma ray, electrical resistivity, density and temperature, are primarily dependent on parameters such as lithology, depth and fault zones. The average dip of bedding, identified from both cores and FMI (or FMS) logs, is about 30 degrees towards the SE. Nevertheless, local azimuthal variations and increasing or decreasing bedding dips appear across fault zones. A prominent increase in structural dip to 60¢X_n- 80¢X_nbelow 1856 m could be due to deformation associated with propagation of the Sanyi fault.

A total of 12 fault zones identified in Hole-A are located in the Plio-Pleistocene Cholan Formation, Pliocene Chinshui Shale and Miocene Kueichulin Formation. The shallowest fault zone at 1111 m in depth, FZ1111, is a 1-m long gouge zone that includes 12-cm thick indurate black material and has been interpreted as the slip zone during Chi-Chi earthquake. FZ1111 is characterized by: 1) a bedding-parallel thrust fault with a 30-degree dip; 2) the lowest resistivity; 3) low density, Vp and Vs ; 4) high Vp /Vs ratio and Poisson’s ratio; 5) low energy and velocity anisotropy, and low permeability or fluid mobility within the homogeneous gouge zone; 6) increasing gas (CO2 and CH4) emissions; and 7) being rich in smectite within the primary slip zone.

Formation physical properties hold consistent relationships with either depth or lithology. Anisotropy of shear-wave velocity shows that the dominant fast shear polarization direction is in good agreement with an overall azimuth of the maximum horizontal stress axis, particularly within the strong anisotropic Kueichulin Formation. A drastic change in orientation of fast shear polarization across the Sanyi thrust fault at a depth of 1710 m reflects changes in stratigraphy, physical properties and structural geometry.


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