Modern Seismic Observations in the Tatun Volcano Region of Northern Taiwan: Seismic/Volcanic Hazard Adjacent to the Taipei Metropolitan Area


The Tatun volcano group is located adjacent to the Taipei metropolitan area in northern Taiwan and was a result of episodic volcanisms between 2.8 and 0.2 Ma. Earthquake data collected over the last 30 years are analyzed to explore seismicity patterns and their associated mechanisms of faulting in the area. Using a Joint Hypocenter Determination (JHD) method, a few sequences of relocated earthquake hypocenters are tightly clustered; these seemed to be blurry in the original catalog locations. Numerous earthquakes, previously unnoticed and not reported in the CWB catalog, have been identified from careful examination of the continuous recordings of a nearby broadband seismic station. These newly identified earthquakes show similarities in waveforms and arrival time differences between direct P- and S-waves indicating that their hypocenter locations are very close to each other and their source mechanisms are similar. A relatively high b-value of 1.22 is obtained from the analysis of crustal earthquakes (depth < 30 km) in the region, which may suggest that clustered local seismicity in the Tatun volcanic region probably resulted from subsurface hydrothermal or volcano-related activities. Focal mechanism solutions determined in this study are dominated by normal faulting. Thus, these earthquake clusters are most probably associated with hydrothermal/magmatic activities in a back-arc extensional environment.

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