Rupture process of the Ms7.0 Lushan earthquake, 2013

ChengLi L. Liu, Yong Zheng*, Can Ge, Xiong Xiong, HouTze T. Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


On April 20, 2013 at 8:02 am, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake occurred in Lushan County, Sichuan Province, China, which induces massive landslides, causes great losses to life and property. Based on the locations of aftershocks provided by the China Earthquake Network Center and the characteristic of Longmenshan active faults system, combined with the current preliminary focal mechanism solution, the fault rupture direction is determined. With the finite fault inversion method, we invert the rupture process of the Lushan M s7.0 earthquake by teleseismic waveforms data. The inversion results indicate that the main shock is dominated by thrust fault component and the rupture initiated at depth of 15 km, and most of slip ruptured around the hypocenter with the peak slip of about 1.5 m. Most of rupture slips released at the first 20 s and the main rupture occurred at the first 10 s after the onsets of the mainshock. Most of seismic energy released near the hypocenter with a length of 28 km, especially on both sides of the hypocenter with the range of 20 km, and the seismic energy released relatively smaller in other areas. There is a large area with weak slip between the main rupture and another two asperities on both sides of the hypocenter; it may imply that the accumulated strain on the rupture fault has not been completely released. Therefore, there is a significant possibility of having strong aftershocks in the areas where energy is not fully released. This is also the main reason why there are a lot of moderate to strong aftershocks in the Lushan aftershock sequence. In addition, there is an earthquake vacant zone with a length of about 50 km between the Wenchuan M w7.9 earthquake and this event, which is of high earthquake risk and is deserved to be paid close attention to.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1192
Number of pages6
JournalScience China Earth Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • finite fault model
  • Longmenshan fault system
  • Lushan earthquake
  • rupture process

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