Geophysics

Characterizing the Chi-Chi Earthquake

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Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2057
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5549.2057a

A magnitude 7.6 earthquake ruptured a 100-kilometer-long segment of the Chelungpu thrust fault in central Taiwan on 21 September 1999. A collection of 36 papers details the earthquake mechanism, the propagation of the rupture, the structure of the fault and its tectonic setting, the spatial and temporal distribution of surface shaking, the intensity and distribution of infrastructure damage, the triggering of additional earthquakes, and the probabilities and seismic hazard potential of future events. The Chi-Chi earthquake produced some of the largest surface displacements ever measured, such as the 6-meter-high waterfall (fault scarp) across the Tachiahsi river and the 9.8-meter vertical displacement across the Shigan dam. In addition, the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan had just completed the deployment of more than 600 strong ground motion stations on the island and was able to record the propagation of the rupture and the intensity of the shaking. A movie of the rupture propagation based on the strong ground motion data as well as 15 other data files related to other papers are included on a CD-ROM with the issue.—LR

Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.91, 893 (2001).

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