Coseismic Uplift of the 1999 Mw7.6 Chi-Chi Earthquake and Implication to Topographic Change in Frontal Mountain Belts

R. Y. Chuang*, C. H. Lu, C. J. Yang, Y. S. Lin, T. Y. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Large dip-slip earthquakes have a major contribution to mountain building while earthquake-induced landslides lower mountains simultaneously. The amount of the coseismic uplift and landslides may dominate long-term mountain evolution. However, how earthquakes contribute to mountain evolution through coseismic uplift and landslides is less constrained in real cases. We present the regional coseismic uplift of the 1999 Mw7.6 Chi-Chi earthquake by using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images and GPS. The coseismic uplift pattern is consistent with field observations showing increasing movement to the north with ~8 m of uplift toward the northern end. We estimated uplifted rock volume of 2.60 ± 1.09 km3, which is five times greater than the coseismic landslide volume. Intense erosion of the Taiwan orogen may erode elevated rocks rapidly, but the uplift and landslide distributions do not match and correlate more inversely, suggesting the frontal orogenic topography should be increased rather than annulled over earthquake cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GL088947
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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