Slip Distribution and Footwall Topography of the Yanggao-Tianzhen Fault (Northern Shanxi Graben): Implications for the Along-Strike Variations in Fault Activity and Regional Deformation

TitleSlip Distribution and Footwall Topography of the Yanggao-Tianzhen Fault (Northern Shanxi Graben): Implications for the Along-Strike Variations in Fault Activity and Regional Deformation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLuo Q, Li C, Li X, Ren G, Dong J
JournalTectonics
Volume40
Issue11
Date Published11/2021
Other NumbersArticle number: e2020TC006593
Keywordsfault activity, fault slip rate, geomorphic indices, Shanxi Graben, Yanggao-Tianzhen fault
Abstract

Spatial patterns in fault activity were examined along the Yanggao-Tianzhen Fault (YTF) in the northern Shanxi Graben, North China. First, we reconstructed the distribution of fault slips and quantified slip rates at seven sites along the fault, based on satellite image interpretation, field investigation, topographic surveying, and optically stimulated luminescence dating. The T3 terraces and their contemporaneous alluvial fans with a best-estimate age of 31.7 ± 1.4 kyr were used as strain markers to estimate slip magnitudes. We determined vertical slip and dip-slip rates of ∼0.10–0.31 mm/yr and ∼0.11–0.37 mm/yr, respectively, at the surface. Assuming fault dips of 40 ± 10° at seismogenic depths, we predicted extension rates of ∼0.17–0.55 mm/yr. This suggests that at least 10% and up to 28%–54% (95% confidence interval) of the total extension of the northern Shanxi Graben is inhomogeneously partitioned by different sections of the YTF. We also evaluated the along-fault relative tectonic activity by analyzing of five widely used geomorphic indices: hypsometric integral, basin elongation ratio, asymmetric factor, valley-floor-width-to-height ratio, and mountain front sinuosity. The determined fault slip rates and geomorphic indices demonstrate that the most prominent fault activity center occurred in the middle of the fault, and that fault activity wanes toward the fault tips. Moreover, the fault activity is highly heterogeneous and fluctuates along the fault strike, which may be attributed to either fault segmentation and linkage or the possible strike-slip component of motion along the fault. Further exploration of fault kinematics and paleoseismic history is warranted.

DOI10.1029/2020TC006593