This study investigates the kinematics of the rupture process of the M-L 7.3 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, earthquake on September 21, 1999. By applying the proposed hybrid homomorphic deconvolution method to deconvolve teleseismic broadband P-wave displacement recordings of the earthquake, this study derives the apparent source time functions (ASTFs) at ten stations located around the epicenter. To further characterize the fault, the kinematic history of the rupture was inverted from ASTFs using a genetic algorithm, coupled with nonlinear iterative technique. The calculated ASFTs reveal that the total rupture event lasted for approximately 27 s. Static slip distribution images indicate that most slip occurred at shallower portions of the fault plane, especially 20-55 km north of the epicenter. The maximum slip reached 20 m at 45 km north of the epicenter, and the average slip throughout the observed rupture area was approximately 2 m. Large asperities on the fault appeared at 25-35 km and 40-50 km north of the hypocenter, and coincided with relatively high rupture velocity. This suggests that the earthquake's energy may have been released quickly. The rupture velocity decreased upon encountering an asperity, and increased again after passing the asperity. This implies that the rupture required more time to overcome the resistances of the asperities. The maximum rupture velocity was 3.8 km/s, while the average rupture velocity was approximately 2.2 km/s. The rise time distribution suggests that larger slip amplitudes generally correspond to shorter rise times on the subfaults.
Pure And Applied Geophysics, v.170 n.3, pp.391-407