The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake occurred on imbricate, oblique, steeply dipping, slowly slipping, listric-reverse faults. Measurements of coseismic slip, the distribution of aftershocks, and fault-plane solution of the mainshock all confirm this style of deformation and indicate cascading earthquake rupture of multiple segments, each with coseismic slip occurring in the shallow crust above a depth range of 10 to 12 km. Interactions among three geological units—eastern Tibet, the Longmen Shan, and the Sichuan basin—caused slow strain accumulation in the Longmen Shan so that measurable preearthquake slip was minor. Coseismic deformation, however, took place mostly within the interseismically locked Longmen Shan fault zone. The earthquake may have initiated from slip on a fault plane dipping 30–40° northwest in a depth range from 15 to 20 km and triggered oblique slip on the high-angle faults at depths shallower than 15 km to form the great Wenchuan earthquake.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error