Chelungpu Fault

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Chelungpu Fault[clarification needed]
Running track after 1999 Chichi earthquake in Taiwan

The Chelungpu Fault (Chinese: 車籠埔斷層; pinyin: Chēlóngbù Duàncéng) is an active fault located in Taiwan.[1] It caused the 1999 Jiji earthquake.[2]


The Chelungpu fault is a North–South-trending fault in Miaoli County, Taiwan. It is a major 90-km structure with a shallow eastward pointing tilt (30°) and primarily slips within and parallel to the bedding of the Pliocene Chinshui shale.[3]

1999 Jiji earthquake[edit]

The epicenter of the earthquake was Chichi Township. The 1999 Jiji earthquake happened along the Chelungpu fault line in western part of the island of Taiwan. The fault is located along the foothills of the Central Mountains in Nantou and Taichung counties. Some sections of land near the fault were changed in elevation by as much as 7 meters (23 feet). Near the northern end of the fault line, a 7-meter tall waterfall was created by the earthquake. In the middle-western part of the island, bridges were destroyed. This stopped traffic for weeks.[4][5][6]

In Wufeng, a village in southern Taichung County, the damage was very bad. The village's Guangfu High School was located on the fault line. It was badly damaged by the quake. Today the high school is the site of the National Museum of Natural Science's 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan.[7][8][9]

The fault was reportedly discovered by Dr. Wen-shan Chen, Professor of Geology at National Taiwan University, in November 2002.[10] To preserve the surface rupture, the Chelungpu Fault Preservation Park was established and opened to the public in 2013.[11]


The Chelungpu Fault has unique characteristics that make it an ideal research site, easy to drill and measure. It is a 12-meter long inland thrust fault with a 30 degrees tilt and a 105 km surface rupture.[12]

Taiwanese scholars Kuo-Fong Ma and Yiben Tsai collaborated on the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project (TCDP)[13] with international collaborators in the US and Japan. The purpose of the project was to obtain physical samples of the fault, in particular where large displacements occurred during the 921 earthquake.[14] The team, in part funded by the National Science Council and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, drilled research boreholes to investigate the Chelungpu fault, leading to multiple discoveries about the causes of the earthquake. Most notably, the project led to an empirical breakthrough in seismology, measuring the thickness of an earthquake slip zone for the first time.[3]

The drilling project also uncovered that one of the causes of the earthquake was the movement of underground water. The team was the first to characterize this unusual type of earthquake, naming it an "isotropic event," that is, an earthquake-like event caused by natural hydraulic fracturing.[15] Some suggest that this finding has important implications for fracking operations.[16]

See also[edit]

Chelongpu Fault Preservation Park


  1. ^ Wu, H.-Y.; Ma, K.-F.; Zoback, M.; Boness, N.; Ito, H.; Hung, J.-H.; Hickman, S. (2007). "Stress orientations of Taiwan Chelungpu-Fault Drilling Project (TCDP) hole-A as observed from geophysical logs". Geophysical Research Letters. 34 (1). Bibcode:2007GeoRL..34.1303W. doi:10.1029/2006GL028050. S2CID 4694354.
  2. ^ "Chelungpu Fault Preservation Park with BenQ Projector | BenQ Display Solution". Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  3. ^ a b Ma, KF (2006). "Slip zone and energetics of a large earthquake from the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project". Nature. 444 (7118): 473–476. Bibcode:2006Natur.444..473M. doi:10.1038/nature05253. PMID 17122854. S2CID 4413738.
  4. ^ "Heat Signature on the Chelungpu Fault Associated with the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan Earthquake" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-03-21.
  5. ^ Tanikawa, Wataru; Shimamoto, Toshihiko (2009). "Frictional and transport properties of the Chelungpu fault from shallow borehole data and their correlation with seismic behavior during the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake". Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. 114 (B1). Bibcode:2009JGRB..114.1402T. doi:10.1029/2008JB005750. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  6. ^ 太平市公所 里的特色 Archived 2008-12-28 at the Wayback Machine註:車籠埔是光隆里、興隆里兩地的地名。
  7. ^ 施政計畫報告 Archived 2009-11-09 at the Wayback Machine 中央地質調查所
  8. ^ 《1:12,000 臺中縣太平市行政區域圖》內政部發行 2005年
  9. ^ 台灣師範大學地理學系. "臺中盆地與車籠埔斷層的關係" (in Chinese).[dead link]
  10. ^ "National Museum of Natural Science -> Exhibition -> Permanent Exhibits -> Chelungpu Fault Preservation Park". Archived from the original on 2013-12-21. Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  11. ^ "歷史沿革". 3 September 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  12. ^ "【921防災篇】斷裂的防災網:世界級地震研究帶頭,建築規範、應用產業慢半拍". The Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  13. ^ Project website: Archived 2021-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Song, Sheng-Rong; Wang, Chien-Ying; Hung, Jih-Hao; Ma, Kuo-Fong (2007). "Preface to the Special Issue on Taiwan Chelungpu-Fault Drilling Project (TCDP): Site Characteristics and On-Site Measurements". Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. 18 (2): 000. Bibcode:2007TAOS...18.....S. doi:10.3319/TAO.2007.18.2.I(TCDP). ProQuest 2090143485.
  15. ^ Ma, Kuo-Fong; Lin, Yen-Yu; Lee, Shiann-Jong; Mori, Jim; Brodsky, Emily E. (27 July 2012). "Isotropic Events Observed with a Borehole Array in the Chelungpu Fault Zone, Taiwan". Science. 337 (6093): 459–463. Bibcode:2012Sci...337..459M. doi:10.1126/science.1222119. PMID 22837526. S2CID 33508855.
  16. ^ "Erdbeben durch natürliches Fracking". Wissenschaft Aktuell. Retrieved 11 January 2021.