Slip zone and energetics of a large earthquake from the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project

Kuo Fong Ma*, Hidemi Tanaka, Sheng Rong Song, Chien Ying Wang, Jih Hao Hung, Yi Ben Tsai, Jim Mori, Yen Fang Song, Eh Chao Yeh, Wonn Soh, Hiroki Sone, Li Wei Kuo, Hung Yu Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)


Determining the seismic fracture energy during an earthquake and understanding the associated creation and development of a fault zone requires a combination of both seismological and geological field data. The actual thickness of the zone that slips during the rupture of a large earthquake is not known and is a key seismological parameter in understanding energy dissipation, rupture processes and seismic efficiency. The 1999 magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Chi-Chi, Taiwan, produced large slip (8 to 10 metres) at or near the surface, which is accessible to borehole drilling and provides a rare opportunity to sample a fault that had large slip in a recent earthquake. Here we present the retrieved cores from the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project and identify the main slip zone associated with the Chi-Chi earthquake. The surface fracture energy estimated from grain sizes in the gouge zone of the fault sample was directly compared to the seismic fracture energy determined from near-field seismic data. From the comparison, the contribution of gouge surface energy to the earthquake breakdown work is quantified to be 6 per cent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-476
Number of pages4
Issue number7118
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov 23
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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