Subsurface structure, physical properties, fault-zone characteristics and stress state in scientific drill holes of Taiwan Chelungpu Fault Drilling Project

Jih Hao Hung*, Kuo Fong Ma, Chien Yin Wang, Hisao Ito, Weiren Lin, En Chao Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Continuous cores and a suit of geophysical measurements were collected in two scientific drill holes to understand physical mechanisms involved in the large displacements during the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake. Physical properties obtained from wire-line logs including P- and S-wave sonic velocity, gamma ray, electrical resistivity, density and temperature, are primarily dependent on parameters such as lithology, depth and fault zones. The average dip of bedding, identified from both cores and FMI (or FMS) logs, is about 30° towards SE. Nevertheless, local azimuthal variations and increasing or decreasing bedding dips appear across fault zones. A prominent increase of structural dip to 60°-80° below 1856 m could be due to deformation associated with propagation of the Sanyi fault. A total of 12 fault zones identified in hole-A are located in the Plio-Pleistocene Cholan Formation, Pliocene Chinshui Shale and Miocene Kueichulin Formation. The shallowest fault zone occurs at 1111 m depth (FZ1111). It is a 1 m gouge zone including 12 cm of thick indurate black material. We interpreted this zone as the slip zone during Chi-Chi earthquake. FZ1111 is characterized by: 1) bedding-parallel thrust fault with 30-degree dip; 2) the lowest resistivity; 3) low density, Vp and Vs, 4) high Vp/Vs ratio and Poisson's ratio; 5) low energy and velocity anisotropy, and low permeability within the homogeneous 1 m gouge zone; 6) increasing gas (CO2 and CH4) emissions, and 7) appearance of smectite within the primary slip zone. In situ stresses at the drill site were inferred from leak-off tests, borehole breakouts and drilling-induced tensile fractures from borehole FMS/FMI logs, and shear seismic wave anisotropy from DSI logs. The dominant fast shear-wave polarization direction is in good agreement with regional maximum horizontal stress axis, particularly within the strongly anisotropic Kueichulin Formation. A conjugate set of secondary directions are parallel to microcrack orientations. A drastic change of orientation of fast shear-wave polarization across the Sanyi thrust fault at the depth of 1712 m reflects the change of stratigraphy, physical properties and structural geometry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-321
Number of pages15
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 10
Externally publishedYes


  • Borehole breakouts
  • Chi-Chi earthquake
  • Fault-zone properties
  • S-wave anisotropy
  • Taiwan Chelungpu Fault Drilling Project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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