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Spatio-temporal rupture process of the 2008 great Wenchuan earthquake

Date: 2017-09-25      View counts: 486    


Yong Z, Feng W P, Xu L S, et al
Sci China Ser D-Earth
The cause on earthquake
Paper Keyword
Wenchuan earthquake, earthquake rupture process, co-seismic displacement
Focal mechanism and dynamic rupture process of the Wenchaun Ms8.0 earthquake in Sichuan province on 12 May 2008 were obtained by inverting long period seismic data from the Global Seismic Network(GSN), and characteristics of the co-seismic displacement field near the fault were quantitatively analyzed based on the inverted results to investigate the mechanism causing disaster. A finite fault model with given focal mechanism and vertical components of the long period P-waves from 21 stations with evenly azimuthal coverage were adopted in the inversion. From the inverted results as well as aftershock distribution, the causative fault of the great Wenchuan earthquake was confirmed to be a fault of strike 225°/dip 39°/rake 120°, indicating that the earthquake was mainly a thrust event with right-lateral strike-slip component. The released scalar seismic moment was estimated to be about 9.4×1020― 2.0×1021 Nm, yielding moment magnitude of Mw7.9―8.1. The great Wenchuan earthquake occurred on a fault more than 300 km long, and had a complicated rupture process of about 90 s duration time. The slip distribution was highly inhomogeneous with the average slip of about 2.4 m. Four slip-patches broke the ground surface. Two of them were underneath the regions of Wenchuan-Yingxiu and Beichuan, respectively, with the first being around the hypocenter (rupture initiation point), where the largest slip was about 7.3 m, and the second being underneath Beichuan and extending to Pingwu, where the largest slip was about 5.6 m. The other two slip-patches had smaller sizes, one having the maximum slip of 1.8 m and lying underneath the north of Kangding, and the other having the maximum slip of 0.7 m and lying underneath the northeast of Qingchuan. Average and maximum stress drops over the whole fault plane were estimated to be 18 MPa and 53 MPa, respectively. In addition, the co-seismic displacement field near the fault was analyzed. The results indicate that the features of the co-seismic displacement field were coincident with those of the intensity distribution in the meizoseismal area, implying that the large-scale, large-amplitude and surface-broken thrust dislocation should be responsible for the serious disaster in the near fault area.
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