Spatiotemporal evolution of seismic and aseismic slip on the Longitudinal Valley Fault, Taiwan

Marion Y. Thomas, Jean Philippe Avouac, Johann Champenois, Jian Cheng Lee, Long Chen Kuo

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70 Citations (Scopus)


The Longitudinal Valley Fault (LVF) in eastern Taiwan is a high slip rate fault (about 5 cm/yr), which exhibits both seismic and aseismic slip. Deformation of anthropogenic features shows that aseismic creep accounts for a significant fraction of fault slip near the surface, whereas a fraction of the slip is also seismic, since this fault has produced large earthquakes with five Mw>6.8 events in 1951 and 2003. In this study, we analyze a dense set of geodetic and seismological data around the LVF, including campaign mode Global Positioning System(GPS) measurements, time series of daily solutions for continuous GPS stations (cGPS), leveling data, and accelerometric records of the 2003 Chenkung earthquake. To enhance the spatial resolution provided by these data, we complement them with interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) measurements produced from a series of Advanced Land Observing Satellite images processed using a persistent scatterer technique. The combined data set covers the entire LVF and spans the period from 1992 to 2010. We invert this data to infer the temporal evolution of fault slip at depth using the Principal Component Analysis-based Inversion Method. This technique allows the joint inversion of diverse data, taking the advantage of the spatial resolution given by the InSAR measurements and the temporal resolution afforded by the cGPS data. We find that (1) seismic slip during the 2003 Chengkung earthquake occurred on a fault patch which had remained partially locked in the interseismic period, (2) the seismic rupture propagated partially into a zone of shallow aseismic interseismic creep but failed to reach the surface, and (3) that aseismic afterslip occurred around the area that ruptured seismically. We find consistency between geodetic and seismological constraints on the partitioning between seismic and aseismic creep. About 80-90% of slip on the southern section of LVF in the 0-26 km, seismogenic depth range, is actually aseismic. We infer that the clay-rich Lichi Mélange is the key factor promoting aseismic creep at shallow depth. Key Points About 80% of slip on the LVF in the seismogenic depth range is aseismic Seismic slip during the 2003 earthquake occurred on a previously locked patch Aseismic afterslip occurred around the area that ruptured seismically

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5114-5139
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jun 2014


  • creep
  • interseismic coupling
  • plate tectonics
  • seismic slip
  • seismotectonics
  • Taiwan


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