Touhuanping Fault, an active wrench fault within fold-and-thrust belt in northwestern Taiwan, documented by spatial analysis of fluvial terraces

Yoko Ota, Yu Nung Nina Lin, Yue Gau Chen, Nobuhisa Matsuta, Takuya Watanuki, Ya Wen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aims at the recent activity and development of an active wrench fault, the Touhuanping Fault in northwestern Taiwan. Northwestern Taiwan has been proposed in a current situation between the mature to waning collision in terms of tectonic evolution. The main drainage in this area, the Chungkang River, flows close to the trace of the fault mentioned above. We examined various types of deformation of fluvial terraces along the Chungkang River as a key to understanding the nature and rate of the late Quaternary tectonics. The E-W trending Touhuanping Fault has long been mapped as a geological boundary fault, but its recent activity was suspected. Field survey revealed that its late Quaternary activity is recorded in the offset fluvial terraces. Our result shows dextral slip and vertical offset with upthrown side on the south, and activated at least twice since the emergence of terrace 4 (older terrace 3 with OSL date of ca. 80 ka). Total amount of offset recorded in the Touhuanping terrace sequence is 15 m for dextral and 10 m for vertical offset. Estimated recurrence time of earthquake rupture may be a few tens of thousand years. Uplift on the upthrown side of the Touhuanping Fault also resulted in the formation of drowned valleys which were graded to terrace 4. Other deformation features, such as back-tilting, westward warping, and a range-facing straight scarp, were also identified. A second-order anticline roughly parallel to the Touhuanping Fault is suggested to be the origin of the northward tilting on terrace 3; it could have resulted from a flower structure on the Touhuanping Fault at shallow depth. This may demonstrate that the buried segment of the Touhuanping Fault has also been active since 80 ka. In the northern study area, the westward warping at terrace 2 probably represents late Quaternary activity of another NE-SW trending Hsincheng Fault.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-570
Number of pages12
JournalTectonophysics
Volume474
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 10 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Drowned valley
  • Hsincheng Fault
  • Late Quaternary tectonics
  • Northwestern Taiwan
  • Repeated faulting
  • Touhuanping Fault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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