Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 1340–1348 | Cite as

Insight into Urban Faults by Wavelet Multi-Scale Analysis and Modeling of Gravity Data in Shenzhen, China

  • Chuang Xu
  • Haihong WangEmail author
  • Zhicai Luo
  • Hualiang Liu
  • Xiangdong Liu
Geophysical Imaging from Subduction Zones to Petroleum Reservoirs


Urban faults in Shenzhen are potential threat to city security and sustainable development. To improve the knowledge of the Shenzhen fault zone, interpretation and inversion of gravity data were carried out. Bouguer gravity covering the whole Shenzhen City was calculated with a 1-km resolution. Wavelet multi-scale analysis (MSA) was applied to the Bouguer gravity data to obtain the multilayer residual anomalies corresponding to different depths. In addition, 2D gravity models were constructed along three profiles. The Bouguer gravity anomaly shows an NE-striking high-low-high pattern from northwest to southeast, strongly related to the main faults. According to the results of MSA, the correlation between gravity anomaly and faults is particularly significant from 4 to 12 km depth. The residual gravity with small amplitude in each layer indicates weak tectonic activity in the crust. In the upper layers, positive anomalies along most of faults reveal the upwelling of high-density materials during the past tectonic movements. The multilayer residual anomalies also yield important information about the faults, such as the vertical extension and the dip direction. The maximum depth of the faults is about 20 km. In general, NE-striking faults extend deeper than NW-striking faults and have a larger dip angle.

Key words

urban faults Bouguer gravity anomaly wavelet multi-scale analysis gravity modeling Shenzhen 


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The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to the Urban Planning Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen Municipality for supplying the gravity data and China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) for supplying GMS3.0 software. Thanks are due to two reviewers for their constructive comments, which improved the manuscript. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41504015, 41429401), the National 973 Project of China (No. 2013CB733302), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M572146), the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (No. 2011AA060503), and the Surveying and Mapping Basic Research Program of National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (No. 15-01-08). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOE Key Laboratory of Fundamental Physical Quantities Measurement, School of PhysicsHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Geodesy and GeomaticsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of EducationWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  4. 4.China Water Resources Beifang InvestigationDesign and Research Co. Ltd.TianjinChina

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