Characteristics and impact of environmental shaking in the Taipei metropolitan area

Kate Huihsuan Chen*, Ting Chen Yeh, Yaochieh Chen, Christopher W. Johnson, Cheng Horng Lin, Ya Chuan Lai, Min Hung Shih, Philippe Guéguen, Win Gee Huang, Bor Shouh Huang, Kou Cheng Chen, Chin Jen Lin, Chin Shang Ku

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Examining continuous seismic data recorded by a dense broadband seismic network throughout Taipei shows for the first time, the nature of seismic noise in this highly populated metropolitan area. Using 140 broadband stations in a 50 km × 69 km area, three different recurring, strong noise signals characterized by dominant frequencies of 2–20 Hz, 0.25–1 Hz, and < 0.2 Hz are explored. At frequencies of 2–20 Hz, the seismic noise exhibits daily and weekly variations, and a quiescence during the Chinese New Year holidays. The largest amplitude occurred at a station located only 400 m from a traffic-roundabout, one of the busiest intersections in Taipei, suggesting a possible correlation between large amplitude and traffic flow. The median daily amplitude for the < 0.2 Hz and 0.2–1.0 Hz frequency bands is mostly synchronized with high similarity between stations, indicating that the sources are persistent oceanic or atmospheric perturbations across a large area. The daily amplitude for the > 2 Hz band, however, is low, indicating a local source that changes on shorter length scales. Human activities responsible for the 2–40 Hz energy in the city, we discovered, are able to produce amplitudes approximately 2 to 1500 times larger than natural sources. Using the building array deployed in TAIPEI 101, the tallest building in Taiwan, we found the small but repetitive ground vibration induced by traffic has considerable effect on the vibration behavior of the high-rise building. This finding urges further investigation not only on the dynamic and continuous interaction between vehicles, roads, and buildings, but also the role of soft sediment on such interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number743
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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