3 active faults discovered in Taiwan, bringing total to 36

A government geological survey has discovered three new active faults in Taiwan, bringing the total number of faults on the earthquake-prone island to 36.

A previous study in 2012 had recorded a total of 33 faults across Taiwan.

The three newly discovered active faults are situated in Nantou County, Tainan, and Kaohsiung, according to survey results released by the Central Geological Survey (CGS) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Tuesday.

The CGS defines an active fault as a fault -- a crack in the earth's surface where the rock has divided into two parts that move against each other -- that has moved within the last 100,000 years and could possibly move again in the future.

According to the CGS, the last time the 20-kilometer Chuxiang Fault in Nantou County underwent displacement was 13,500 years ago. The 21 km-long Kuoxiaoli Fault in Tainan was last displaced 12,670 years ago, while the 25km-long Chegualin Fault in Kaohsiung last moved 7,500 years ago.

Due to evidence of movement within the last 100,000 years and with all three faults exceeding 5 km in length, the CGS said that the trio had been added to the list of active faults in Taiwan.

The CGS published a graphic showing the locations of Taiwan's 36 active faults, which it said could be used as a reference for land management, reviewing land development, disaster prevention and control, and designing earthquake-resistant buildings.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel