pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 17–41 | Cite as

The reservoir-associated earthquakes of April 1983 in western Thailand: Source modeling and implications for induced seismicity

  • Wai-Ying Chung
  • Chao Liu


On 22 April 1983, a very large area of Thailand and part of Burma were strongly shaken by a rare earthquake (mb=5.8,Ms=5.9). The epicenter was located at the Srinagarind reservoir about 190 km northwest of Bangkok, a relatively stable continental region that experienced little previous seismicity. The main shock was preceded by some foreshocks and followed by numerous aftershocks. The largest foreshock ofmb=5.2 occurred 1 week before the main shock, and the largest aftershock ofmb=5.3 took place about 3 hours after the main shock. Focal mechanisms of the three largest events in this earthquake sequence have been studied by other seismologists using firts-motion data. However, the solutions for the main shock and the largest aftershock showed significant inconsistency with known surface geology and regional tectonics. We reexamined the mechanisms of these three events by using teleseismicP-andS-waveforms and through careful readings ofP-wave first motions. The directions of theP axes in our study range from NNW-SSE to NNE-SSW, and nodal planes strike in the NW-SE to about E-W in agreement with regional tectonics and surface geology. The main shock mechanism strikes 255°, dips 48°, and slips 63.5°. The fault motions during the main shock and the foreshock are mainly thrust, while the largest aftershock has a large strike-slip component. The seismic moment and the stress drop of the mainshock are determined to be 3.86×1024 dyne-cm and 180 bars, respectively. The occurrence of these thrust events appears to correlate with the unloading of the Srinagarind reservoir. The focal depths of the largest foreshock, the main shock, and the largest aftershock are determined to be 5.4 km, 8 km, and 22.7 km, respectively, from waveform modeling and relative location showing a downward migration of hypocenters of the three largest events during the earthquake sequence. Other characteristics of this reservoir-induced earthquake sequence are also discussed.

Key words

Reservoir-induced seismicity source modeling Srinagarind earthquakes Thailand 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wai-Ying Chung
    • 1
  • Chao Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Earthquake Research and InformationMemphis State UniversityMemphisU.S.A.

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