Did the MS7.0 Lushan earthquake dynamically trigger earthquakes in the Datong volcanic region (Shanxi Province)?

Meiqin Song*, Yong Zheng, Rui Fu, Xiangjun Liang, Xia Wang, Li Li, Bin Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immediately following the MS7.0 Lushan earthquake on April 20, 2013, using high-pass and lowpass filtering on the digital seismic stations in the Shanxi Province, located about 870-1,452 km from the earthquake epicenter, we detected some earthquakes at a time corresponding to the first arrival of surface waves in high-pass filtering waveform. The earthquakes were especially noticed at stations in Youyu (YUY), Shanzizao (SZZ), Shanghuangzhuang (SHZ), and Zhenchuan (ZCH), which are located in a volcanic region in the Shanxi Province,but they were not listed in the Shanxi seismic observation report. These earthquakes occurred 4-50 min after the passage of the maximum amplitude Rayleigh wave, and the periods of the surface waves were mainly between 15 and 20 s following. The Coulomb stresses caused by the Rayleigh waves that acted on the four stations was about 0.001 MPa, which is a little lower than the threshold value of dynamic triggering, therefore, we may conclude that the Datong volcanic region is more sensitive to the Coulomb stress change. To verify, if the similar phenomena are widespread, we used the same filtering to observe contrastively continuous waveform data before, and 5 h after, the MS7.0 Lushan earthquake and MS9.0 Tohoku earthquake in 2011. The results show that the similar phenomena occur before the earthquakes, but the seismicity rates after the earthquakes are remarkably increased. Since these weak earthquakes are quite small, it is hard to get clear phase arrival time from three or more stations to locate them. In addition, the travel time differences between P waves and S waves (S-P) are all less than 4 s, that means the events should occur in 34 km around the stations in the volcanic region. The stress of initial dynamic triggering of the MS9.0 Tohoku earthquake was about 0.09 MPa, which is much higher than the threshold value of dynamic triggering stress. The earthquakes after the MS9.0 Tohoku earthquake are related to dynamic triggering stress, but the events before the earthquake cannot be linked to seismic events, but may be related to the background seismicity or from other kinds of local sources, such as anthropogenic sources (i.e., explosions). Using two teleseismic filtering, the small background earthquakes in the Datong volcanic region occur frequently, thus we postulate that previous catalog does not apply bandpass filter to pick out the weak earthquakes, and some of the observed weak events were not triggered by changes in the dynamic stress field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalEarthquake Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Datong volcanic region
  • The 2013 Lushan earthquake
  • Triggered seismicity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Did the MS7.0 Lushan earthquake dynamically trigger earthquakes in the Datong volcanic region (Shanxi Province)?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this