Temperature estimates of coseismic heating in clay-rich fault gouges, the Chelungpu fault zones, Taiwan

Li Wei Kuo, Sheng Rong Song*, Lin Huang, En Chao Yeh, Huei Fen Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the coseismic frictional temperature in seismogenic fault zones, we examine the characteristics of clays in the Chelungpu-fault zones with isothermal heating experiments, scanning electron microscope coupled to an energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM/EDX), and thermogravimetry analysis (TGA). In the TCDP case (Taiwan Chelungpu fault Drilling Project), three fault zones of the Chelungpu-fault system were identified at the depth of 1111. m, 1153. m, and 1222. m (described as FZ1111, FZ1153, and FZ1222 hereafter), respectively. The clay mineral assemblages of FZ1111 show evidence of melting, and the temperature in a ~. 2. cm band within the black gouge zone is estimated to be from 900°C to 1100°C by comparing the SEM images of in situ natural samples with those of heated materials, and the finding of no recrystallization of kaolinite-amorphous aluminosilicates-spinel in the fault samples. The clay mineral assemblages of FZ1153 suggested that kaolinite has been broken down by the thermal decomposition/dehydroxylation but chlorite has not. The clay characteristics and results of SEM/EDX and TGA constrain the faulting temperature from 500°C to 900°C, with a spatial distribution up to ~. 1.3. m. The clay characteristics of FZ1222 indicated that clays were changed by experiencing high temperature acid fluids, instead of thermal decomposition/dehydroxylation processes, and that the temperature is localized in ~. 2. cm and ranges from 350°C to 500°C, the lowest temperature among three fault zones. The estimates of temperature ranges, and thermal anomaly intervals among three fault zones provide important information and constraints on the physical and chemical processes, coseismic dynamic weakening mechanism, and earthquake energy budget in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr 20


  • Chelungpu fault
  • Clay mineral
  • TCDP
  • Temperature estimates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Temperature estimates of coseismic heating in clay-rich fault gouges, the Chelungpu fault zones, Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this