Coulomb stress changes triggering surface pop-up during the 2016 Mw 6.4 Meinong earthquake with implications for earthquake-induced mud diapiring in SW Taiwan

Hue Anh Mai, Jian Cheng Lee*, Kate Huihsuan Chen, Kuo Liang Wen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigated the 2016 Meinong earthquake (Mw 6.4) in southwestern Taiwan, which caused surface pop-up in an area of 10x15 km2 with maximum uplift of 12 cm, where lies an array of mud volcanoes and possible underlying mud diapir. We calculated 3D strain tensor in a 3D mesh with 5x5x2 km grids in the epicentral area induced by the Coulomb stress change due to coseismic fault slip. We obtained substantial contraction strain (10−5–10−6) that occurred in a lobe showing “squeezing” at the depth of 5–14 km below the surface pop-up area. Dilatation strain (10−5–10−6) occurred at shallow level (0–3 km) with a radial pattern around the surface pop-up area. Combining with local geology, which is composed of Mio-Pliocene ~5-km-thick mudstone in a fold-thrust belt, we interpret that the 2016 Meinong coseismic surface pop-up was closely related to mud diapirs/volcanoes, which were likely reactivated by sudden increase of fluid pore-pressure in the basal reservoir (at 5–6 km depth) and dilatation in the shallow level. We also explored the potential effects of the Coulomb stress transfer on nearby receiver faults – including three arrays of mud diapir, the regional decollement, a suspected backthrust and one thrust close to the pop-up area. Our results show that the Coulomb stress transfer a) favors NNE-trending mud diapirs in the coseismic pop-up area, with a combination of clamping stress changes at 5–6 km depth and unclamping stress changes at 0–4 km depth, and b) it does not favor triggered thrust slip on the regional thrusts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104847
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Volume218
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep 15

Keywords

  • 2016 Meinong earthquake
  • Coulomb stress changes
  • Earthquake triggering
  • Mud diapir
  • Seismic hazard
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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