Kinematic analysis of the Pakuashan fault tip fold, west central Taiwan: Shortening rate and age of folding inception

Martine Simoes, Jean Philippe Avouac, Yue Gau Chen, Ashok K. Singhvi, Chien Ying Wang, Manoj Jaiswal, Yu Chang Chan, Sylvain Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The Pakuashan anticline is an active fault tip fold that constitutes the frontal most zone of deformation along the western piedmont of the Taiwan Range. Assessing seismic hazards associated with this fold and its contribution to crustal shortening across central Taiwan requires some understanding of the fold structure and growth rate. To address this, we surveyed the geometry of several deformed strata and geomorphic surfaces, which recorded different cumulative amounts of shortening. These units were dated to ages ranging from ∼19 ka to ∼340 ka using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). We collected shallow seismic profiles and used previously published seismic profiles to constrain the deep structure of the fold. These data show that the anticline has formed as a result of pure shear with subsequent limb rotation. The cumulative shortening along the direction of tectonic transport is estimated to be 1010 ± 160 m. An analytical fold model derived from a sandbox experiment is used to model growth strata. This yields a shortening rate of 16.3 ± 4.1 mm/yr and constrains the time of initiation of deformation to 62.2 ± 9.6 ka. In addition, the kinematic model of Pakuashan is used to assess how uplift, sedimentation, and erosion have sculpted the present-day fold topography and morphology. The fold model, applied here for the first time on a natural example, appears promising in determining the kinematics of fault tip folds in similar contexts and therefore in assessing seismic hazards associated with blind thrust faults.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB03S14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Mar 2007


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