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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-116
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-116
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Apr 2019

Research article | 30 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Revised earthquake sources along Manila Trench for tsunami hazard assessment in the South China Sea

Qiang Qiu1,2, Linlin Li3,4, Ya-Ju Hsu5, Yu Wang6, Chung-Han Chan1, and Adam D. Switzer1,2 Qiang Qiu et al.
  • 1Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 3School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • 5Institue of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 6Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Abstract. Seismogenic tsunami hazard assessments are highly dependent on the reliability of earthquake source models. Here in a study of the Manila subduction zone (MSZ) system, we combine the geological characteristics of the subducting plate, the geometry, and coupling state of the subduction interface to propose a series of fault rupture scenarios. We divide the subduction zone into three rupture segments: 14° N–16° N, 16° N–19° N and 19° N–21.7° N inferred from geological structures associated with the down-going Sunda plate. Each of these segments is capable of generating earthquakes of magnitude between Mw 8.5+ and Mw 9+, assuming a-1000-year seismic return period as suggested by previous studies. The most poorly constrained segment of the MSZ lies between 19° N–21.7° N, and here we use both local geological structures and characteristics of other subduction zone earthquakes around the world, to investigate the potential rupture characteristics of this segment. We consider multiple rupture modes for tsunamigenic-earthquake type and megathrust-splay fault earthquakes. These rupture models facilitate an improved understanding of the potential tsunami hazard in the South China Sea (SCS). Hydrodynamic simulations demonstrate that coastlines surrounded the SCS could be devastated by tsunami waves up to 10-m if large megathrust earthquakes occur in these segments. The regions most prone to these hazards include west Luzon of Philippines, southern Taiwan, the southeastern China, central Vietnam and the Palawan Island.

Qiang Qiu et al.
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Short summary
The accuracy of tsunami hazard assessments is highly dependent on the reliability of earthquake source models. In this study, we combine the most updated geological and geophysical data of the Manila subduction zone to propose a series of possible rupture scenarios. These rupture models facilitate an improved understanding of the potential tsunami hazard in the South China Sea. The results highlight the grave consequences faced by the SCS, one of the world’s most densely populated coastlines.
The accuracy of tsunami hazard assessments is highly dependent on the reliability of earthquake...
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