The Mw 7.9 2008Wenchuan earthquake ruptured about 280 km of faults in the Longmen Shan of Sichuan province, China, at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. We use teleseismic waveforms with geodetic data from Global Positioning System, synthetic aperture radar interferometry and image amplitude correlation to produce a source model of this earthquake. The model describes evolution of fault slip du lique slip (right-lateral and thrust) and the proportion of lateral motion increasing in the northern Longmen Shan. The northernmost fault segment has a much steeper dip, consistent with nearly pure strike-slip motion. The kinematic source model shows that the rupture propagated to the northeast at about 2.5-3.0 kms-1, producing a cascade of subevents with a total duration of about 110 s. The complex fault ruptures caused shortening and uplift of the extremely steep central Longmen Shan, which supports models where the steep edge of the plateau is formed by thrusting over the strong crust of the Sichuan Basin.
- Body waves
- Continental tectonics: compressional
- Earthquake source observations
- Radar interferometry
- Seismicity and tectonics