Earth, Planets and Space (2020-12-01)

Source and strong-motion characteristics of two M > 6 buried earthquakes in southwest Taiwan

  • Yi-Ying Wen,
  • Yin-Tung Yen,
  • Chun-Hsiang Kuo,
  • Kuo‐En Ching

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 72, no. 1
pp. 1 – 14


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Abstract We used near-field strong-motion data to investigate the complex combination of source effect and site response for two recent disastrous earthquakes in southwest Taiwan. We estimated strong-motion generation areas (SMGAs) of 2.8 km × 2.8 km and 6.0 km × 4.2 km in a frequency band of 0.4–10 Hz for the 2010 Jiashian and 2016 Meinong earthquakes, respectively. The high-stress drops of 26.2 and 17.0 MPa for these two buried events were potentially related to the small dimension and deep rupture. Our results revealed that both earthquakes exhibited westward rupture directivity, whereas the 2016 Meinong event exhibited a stronger directivity effect because of the consistency between the propagation and slip directions. The localized high peak ground velocity (PGV) patch and the nonlinear site response could be attributed to the soft sediment with high pore fluid pressure and low-velocity structure beneath this region. However, the greater seismic moment and closer faulting location to the thick-mudstone-layer region for the 2016 Meinong event reinforced the strong ground shaking and serious damage over the broad area. This implies that this thick-mudstone-layer region in southern Taiwan plays a crucial role in earthquake response, and an investigation of characteristic site effects should be conducted for seismic hazard mitigation. Graphic abstract