Project Overview

We are working to generate a Community Fault Model and Community Velocity Model in the Sichuan basin and Longmenshan, site of the 2008 M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, similar to existing models in Southern California. The goal of our research is to understand the geometries and activities of faults in the Longmenshan and Sichuan basin in order to assess the regional seismic hazard.

Our rearch integrates geological and seismologic data from the Wenchuan earthquake and neighboring areas of the mountain belt to characterize the three-dimensional geometry of the fault system in the Longmenshan. This effort builds on our experience at Harvard in developing community fault models that are now used by the U.S. Geological Survey as the basis for regional earthquake hazards assessment in southern California (Plesch et al., 2007).

Based on these results, we will work collaboratively with our Chinese colleagues to develop state-of-the-art community fault and velocity models for the Sichuan area that will serve as the basis for an improved understanding of the regional earthquake hazards. These models will also provide a starting point for strong ground-motion simulations and geodetic studies. 

Funding Sources

  • Harvard China Fund

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The Team


John H. Shaw (Harvard), Andreas Plesch (Harvard), Maomao Wang (Harvard, Nanjing), Yiquan Li (Nanjing), Magali Reisner (Ecole Normale Superieure), Jia Dong (Nanjing University), Li Benliang (PetroChina)

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