Skip to main content


In-situ stress at the northern portion of the Chelungpu fault, Taiwan, estimated on boring cores recovered from a 2-km-deep hole of TCDP

Article metrics

  • 263 Accesses

  • 8 Citations


We have investigated the depth variation in the stress state at the northern part of the Chelungpu fault, Taiwan, which slipped during the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake (Mw 7.6). In-situ stress around the fault was estimated based on the stress memory of rocks recovered from five depths (739–1316 m) of a 2-km-deep-hole. The borehole intersects a fault zone at a depth of 1111 m (FZ1111), which is the best candidate for the Chelungpu fault. Our main results are: (1) the SHmax direction is parallel to the slip for the Chi-Chi earthquake and agrees with those of the local, regional, or tectonic scales estimated from various stress indicators; (2) significant aspects of the stress field are identical to those of paleostress; (3) the horizontal differential stress was significantly reduced just above FZ1111, which may be attributable to the existence of a significantly deformable zone at this depth.


  1. Angelier, J., E. Barrier, and H.-T. Chu, Plate collision and paleostress trajectories in a fold-thrust belt: The foothills of Taiwan, Tectonophys., 125, 161–178, 1986.

  2. Brodsky, E. E. and H. Kanamori, Elastohydrodynamic lubrication of faults, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 16357–16374, 2001.

  3. Holcomb, D. J., General theory of the Kaiser effect, Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Geomech. Abstr., 30, 929–935, 1993.

  4. Hung, J.-H., K.-F. Ma, C.-Y. Wang, H. Ito, W. Lin, and E.-C. Yeh, Subsurface structure, physical property, fault-zone characteristics and stress state in scientific drill holes of Taiwan Chelungpu Fault Drilling Project, Tectonophys., doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2007.11.014, 2008 (in press).

  5. Kanagawa, T., M. Hayashi, and N. Nakasa, Estimation of spatial geostress components in rock samples using the Kaiser effect of acoustic emission, Proc. Jpn. Soc. Civil Eng., 285, 63–75, 1977 (in Japanese).

  6. Kano, Y., J. Mori, R. Fujio, H. Ito., T. Yanagidani, S. Nakao, and K.-F. Ma, Heat Signature on the Chelungpu Fault Associated with the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan Earthquake, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL026733, 2006.

  7. Kao, H. and W.-P. Chen, The Chi-Chi earthquake sequence: active out-of-sequence thrust faulting in Taiwan, Science, 288, 2346–2349, 2000.

  8. Lavrov, A., The Kaiser effect in rocks: principles and stress estimation techniques, Int. J. Rock Mech. Mining Sci., 40, 151–171, 2003.

  9. Lee, J.-C., Y.-G. Chen, K. Sieh, K. Mueller, W.-S. Chen, H.-T. Chu, Y.-C. Chan, C. Rubin, and R. Yeats, A vertical exposure of the 1999 surface rupture of the Chelungpu fault at Wufeng, western Taiwan: Structural and paleoseismic implications for an active thrust fault, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 91, 914–929, 2001.

  10. Ma, K. F., J. Mori, S. J. Lee, and S. B. Yu, Spatial and temporal distribution of slip for the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 91, 1069–1087, 2001.

  11. Ma, K.-F., H. Tanaka, S.-R. Song, C.-Y. Wang, J.-H. Hung, Y.-B. Tsai, J. Mori, Y.-F. Song, E.-C. Yeh, W. Soh, H. Sone, L.-W. Kuo, and H.-Y. Wu, Slip zone and energetics of a large earthquake from the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling Project, Nature, 444, 473–476, doi: 10.1038/nature05253, 2006.

  12. Oglesby, D. D. and S. M. Day, Fault geometry and the dynamics of the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquake, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 91, 1099–1111, 2001.

  13. Rau, R. J., F. T. Wu, and T. C. Shin, Regional network focal mechanism determination using 3D velocity model and SH/P amplitude ratio, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 86, 1270–1283, 1996.

  14. Sato, N., Y. Yabe, K. Yamamoto, and H. Ito, In situ stresses near the Nojima fault estimated by Deformation Rate Analysis, Zisin 2, 56, 157–169, 2003.

  15. Scholz, C. H., Evidence for a strong San Andreas fault, Geol., 28, 163–166, 2000.

  16. Seno, T., The instantaneous rotation vector of the Philippine Sea plate relative to the Eurasian plate, Tectonophys., 42, 209–226, 1977.

  17. Song, S. R., L. W. Kuo, E. C. Yeh, C. Y. Wang, J. H. Hung, and K. F. Ma, Characteristics of the Lithology, Fault-related Rocks and Fault Zone Structures in the TCDP Hole-A., Terr. Atmos. Oceanic Sci., 18, 2007 (in press).

  18. Tanaka, H, W. M. Chen, K. Kawabata, and N. Urata, Thermal properties across the Chelungpu fault zone and evaluations of positive thermal anomaly on the slip zone: Are these residuals of heat from faulting?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, doi:10.1029/2006GL028153, 2007.

  19. Villaescusa, E., M. Seto, and G. Baird, Stress measurements from oriented core, Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci., 39, 603–615, 2002.

  20. Wu, C., M. Takeo, and S. Ide, Source process of the Chi-Chi earthquake: S joint inversion of strong motion data and Global Positioning System data with a multifault model, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 91, 1128–1143, 2001.

  21. Wu, H., J. Hung, E. Yeh, and J. Dong, Characters of faults and structures revealed from cores and wire-line logs in Hole-A of the Taiwan Chelungpu-fault Drilling, Eos Trans. AGU, 86(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T51D-1309, 2005.

  22. Wu, H., K. Ma, M. Zoback, N. Boness, H. Ito, J. Hung, and S. Hickman, Stress orientations of Taiwan Chelungpu-Fault Drilling Project (TCDP) hole-A as observed from geophysical logs, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, doi:10.1029/2006GL028050, 2007.

  23. Yabe, Y., Estimating crustal stresses from inelastic behavior of boring core samples under the uniaxial compression, paper presented in the 1st Workshop on IODP Physical Property Measurement, Japan Drilling Earth Science Consortium (J-DESC), Kyoto, Japan, 2004.

  24. Yabe, Y., N. Sato, K. Yamamoto, K. Obara, and K. Kasahara, A new technique to measure crustal stresses based on hysteresis of AE activity during load-unload cycle, abstract of 2004 Japan Earth and Planetary Science Joint Meeting, J036-P015, Makuhari, Japan, 2004.

  25. Yamamoto, K., The rock property of in-situ stress memory: Discussions on its mechanism, reported in Int. W/S on Rock Stress: Measurement at Great Depth, 8th ISRM, Tokyo, Japan, 1995.

  26. Yamamoto, K., Y. Kuwahara, N. Kato, and T. Hirasawa, Deformation rate analysis: A new method for in situ stress estimation from inelastic deformation of rock samples under uniaxial compressions, Tohoku Geophys. J. (Sci. Rep. Tohoku Univ., Ser 5), 33, 127–147, 1990.

  27. Yamamoto, K., H. Yamamoto, N. Kato, and T. Hirasawa, Deformation rate analysis for in situ stress estimation, AE/MS activity, in Geol. Struct. Mat., edited by H. R. Hardy Jr., Trans. Tech. Pub., 243–255, 1993

  28. Yu, S. H., H. Y. Chen, and L. C. Kuo, Velocity field of GPS stations in the Taiwan area, Tectonophys., 274, 41–59, 1997.

  29. Zeng, Y. and C. H. Chen, Fault rupture process of the 20 September 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 91, 1088–1098, 2001.

  30. Zoback, M. D., M. L. Zoback, V. S. Mount, J. S. Suppe, J. P. Eaton, J. H. Healy, D. Oppenheimer, P. Reasenberg, L. Jones, C. B. Raleigh, I. G. Wong, O. Scotti, and C. Wentworth, New evidence on the state of stress of the San Andreas fault system, Science, 238, 1105–1111, 1987.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Yasuo Yabe.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yabe, Y., Song, S. & Wang, C. In-situ stress at the northern portion of the Chelungpu fault, Taiwan, estimated on boring cores recovered from a 2-km-deep hole of TCDP. Earth Planet Sp 60, 809–819 (2008) doi:10.1186/BF03352832

Download citation

Key words

  • 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake
  • Chelungpu fault
  • TCDP
  • crustal stress
  • stress memory
  • core method