Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2022-17
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2022-17
 
21 Feb 2022
21 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Numerical Simulation of Present-day Kinematics at the Northeastern Margin of the Tibetan Plateau

Liming Li1,2, Xianrui Li3, Fanyan Yang2, Lili Pan4, and Jingxiong Tian2 Liming Li et al.
  • 1School of Earth Science and Resources, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
  • 2Ningxia Institute of Geological Survey, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750021, China
  • 3Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
  • 4School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China

Abstract. The slip rates of active faults at the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (NETP) must be clarified to understand the lateral expansion of the Tibetan Plateau and assess the seismic hazards in this region. To obtain the continuous slip rates of active faults at the NETP, we constructed a three-dimensional geomechanics-numerical model of the NETP. The model explains the fault systems, topographic undulations, and crustal stratigraphy of the study area. It also accounts for the physical rock properties, gravity fields, fault friction coefficients, initial crustal stresses, and boundary conditions. The horizontal and vertical crustal velocities and slip rates of active faults in the study area were obtained from simulations using the aforementioned model. The results were then validated against independent geographic datasets. Based on the analysis of the fault kinematics in the study area, the Laohushan, middle–southern Liupanshan, and Guguan–Baoji faults, as well as the locked fault zone at the junction of the Maxianshan and Zhuanglanghe faults, represent potential hazard areas for strong earthquakes. However, as these faults are currently in the stress accumulation stage, they are unlikely to cause a major earthquake in the short term. In contrast, it is likely that the Jinqiangshan–Maomaoshan fault will generate a ~MS7.0 earthquake in the coming decades. Based on the analysis of several profiles across the NETP, the deformations at the NETP are continuous in the Bayan Har and Qaidam blocks, as well as in the block-like in Qilian Block, particularly around the Haiyuan Fault.

Liming Li et al.

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Liming Li et al.

Liming Li et al.

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Short summary
We constructed a three-dimensional geomechanics-numerical model to obtain the continuous slip rates of active faults and crustal velocities at the NETP. Based on the analysis of the fault kinematics in the study area, we evaluated the possibility of earthquakes occurring in the main faults in the area, and analyzed the crustal deformation mode of the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau.