Evidence of Multiple Ground-rupturing Earthquakes in the Past 4000 Years along the Pasuruan Fault, East Java, Indonesia
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Instrumental and historical records of earthquakes, supplemented by paleoeseismic constraints can help reveal the earthquake potential of an area. The Pasuruan fault is a high angle normal fault with prominent youthful scarps cutting young deltaic sediments in the north coast of East Java, Indonesia and may pose significant hazard to the densely populated region. This fault has not been considered a significant structure, and mapped as a lineament with no sense of motion. Information regarding past earthquakes along this fault is not available. The fault is well defined both in the imagery and in the field as a ~13km long, 2-50m-high scarp. Open and filled fractures and natural exposures of the south-dipping fault plane indicate normal sense of motion. We excavated two fault-perpendicular trenches across a relay ramp identified during our surface mapping. Evidence for past earthquakes (documented in both trenches) includes upward fault termination with associated fissure fills, colluvial wedges and scarp-derived debris, folding, and angular unconformities. The ages of the events are constrained by 23 radiocarbon dates on detrital charcoal. We calibrated the dates using IntCal13 and used Oxcal to build the age model of the events. Our preliminary age model indicates that since 2006±134 B.C., there has been at least five ground rupturing earthquakes along the fault. The oldest event identified in the trench however, is not well-dated. Our modeled 95th percentile ranges of the next four earlier earthquakes (and their mean) are A.D. 1762–1850 (1806), A.D. 1646–1770 (1708), A.D. 1078–1648 (1363), and A.D. 726–1092 (909), yielding a rough recurrence rate of 302±63 yrs. These new data imply that Pasuruan fault is more active than previously thought. Additional well-dated earthquakes are necessary to build a solid earthquake recurrence model. Rupture along the whole section implies a minimum earthquake magnitude of 6.3, considering 13km as the minimum surface rupture length.