Structural controls on coseismic rupture revealed by the 2020 Mw6.0 Jiashi earthquake (Kepingtag belt, SW Tian Shan, China)

Siyu Wang, Edwin Nissen, Lèa Pousse-Beltran, Timothy J. Craig, Ruohong Jiao, Eric A. Bergman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Kepingtag (Kalpin) fold-and-thrust belt of the southern Chinese Tian Shan is characterized by active shortening and intense seismic activity. Geological cross-sections and seismic reflection profiles suggest thin-skinned, northward-dipping thrust sheets detached in an Upper Cambrian dècollement. The 2020 January 19 Mw 6.0 Jiashi earthquake provides an opportunity to investigate how coseismic deformation is accommodated in this structural setting. Coseismic surface deformation resolved with Sentinel-1 Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is centred on the back limb of the frontal Kepingtag anticline. Elastic dislocation modelling suggests that the causative fault is located at ∼7 km depth and dips ∼7° northward, consistent with the inferred position of the dècollement. Our calibrated relocation of the main shock hypocentre is consistent with eastward, unilateral rupture of this fault. The narrow slip pattern (length ∼37 km but width only ∼9 km) implies that there is a strong structural or lithological control on the rupture extent, with updip slip propagation possibly halted by an abrupt change in dip angle where the Kepingtag thrust is inferred to branch off the dècollement. A depth discrepancy between main shock slip constrained by InSAR and teleseismic waveform modelling (∼7 km) and well-relocated aftershocks (∼10-20 km) may suggest that faults within sediments above the dècollement exhibit velocity-strengthening friction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1895-1910
Number of pages16
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Asia
  • Earthquake source observations
  • Folds and folding
  • Intraplate processes
  • Radar interferometry
  • Waveform inversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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