A Discussion on Low Seismicity in 2012 in Taiwan

Friday, 19 December 2014
tz-Shin Lai and Yih-Min Wu, Department of Geoscience, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
In Taiwan, a significant seismic quiescence before the 1999 M7.6 Chi-Chi earthquake was reported by Wu and Chiao (2006). Recently, a low seismicity is also observed in 2012. There are nine months within 2012 with monthly seismicity rates low than the one standard deviation. It is worth to check that this is a seismic quiescence period before a big earthquake or other reasons. The first we checked the seismic network condition. We found some new seismic stations including the Broadband Array in Taiwan for Seismology (BATS) were incorporated within the Central Weather Bureau Seismic Network (CWBSN) since 2012. Most of those stations are located on hard rock sites which may affect the magnitude estimation. In order to reduce the impact of site effect, we collected the earthquake catalog data during the period from 1994 to 2012 to calculate the station correction for each station. There is a strong correlation between station corrections determined in this study and geological settings. Stations located on soil sites have high amplifications with negative station corrections. On the other hand, stations located on hard rock sites have low amplifications with positive station corrections. After applied the station corrections to revise ML estimation, seismicity rate obviously increases in 2012 and without low seismicity anomaly. Therefore, the reason low seismicity in 2012 is that new adding seismic stations which are installed on rock sites and lead to underestimate of the magnitude determination.