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Moment tensor inversions using strong motion waveforms of Taiwan TSMIP data, 1993–2009

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2011.08.020
  • Moment Tensor
  • Strong Motion
  • Tsmip
  • Seismogenic Structures
  • Meishan Fault System
  • Focal Mechanism


Abstract Earthquake source parameters are important for earthquake studies and seismic hazard assessment. Moment tensors are among the most important earthquake source parameters, and are now routinely derived using modern broadband seismic networks around the world. Similar waveform inversion techniques can also apply to other available data, including strong-motion seismograms. Strong-motion waveforms are also broadband, and recorded in many regions since the 1980s. Thus, strong-motion data can be used to augment moment tensor catalogs with a much larger dataset than that available from the high-gain, broadband seismic networks. However, a systematic comparison between the moment tensors derived from strong motion waveforms and high-gain broadband waveforms has not been available. In this study, we inverted the source mechanisms of Taiwan earthquakes between 1993 and 2009 by using the regional moment tensor inversion method using digital data from several hundred stations in the Taiwan Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (TSMIP). By testing different velocity models and filter passbands, we were able to successfully derive moment tensor solutions for 107 earthquakes of M w >= 4.8. The solutions for large events agree well with other available moment tensor catalogs derived from local and global broadband networks. However, for M w = 5.0 or smaller events, we consistently over estimated the moment magnitudes by 0.5 to 1.0. We have tested accelerograms, and velocity waveforms integrated from accelerograms for the inversions, and found the results are similar. In addition, we used part of the catalogs to study important seismogenic structures in the area near Meishan Taiwan which was the site of a very damaging earthquake a century ago, and found that the structures were dominated by events with complex right-lateral strike-slip faulting during the recent decade. The procedures developed from this study may be applied to other strong-motion datasets to compliment or fill gaps in catalogs from regional broadband networks and teleseismic networks.

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