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Active Tectonics Division
1999 Chi-Chi earthquake fault
This photograph illustrates the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake fault (marked by red line) and the previous fault events. Photograph was taken near Chushan, Nantou, west-central Taiwan.
Taiwan has for long suffered earthquake disasters since it forms part of the Circum-Pacific seismic belt. Looking back over the vast reaches of geological time, it is clear that earthquakes gave birth to the island of Taiwan. In the past hundred years, 9 active faults had been reactivated causing great many deaths in Taiwan. Although there are various mechanisms causing earthquake, it is found that earthquakes and associated damages in Taiwan were mainly due to fault reactivation. Therefore, as a governmental agency, the Central Geological Survey (CGS) has a major role to play in response to earthquake disasters. To live with earthquakes, at first, a fully-discussed and well-geometrically controlled map of the active faults is required in order to provide basic information for disaster-control and public construction. This work should be done not only by geological survey (ex. geological mapping, trenching, and borehole drilling) but also by other means including geomorphic study, remote sensing and geophysical prospecting. Second, the activity of each fault should be monitored in order to assess the risk among them. The long-term activity is gained by the study of paleoseismology in the trenches or boreholes, whereas the short-term activity is calculated by the geodetic survey. Third, a systematic monitoring system is required to study earthquake precursor.
In order to efficiently deal with such earthquake geology related things burst out after the Chi-Chi earthquake. Active tectonics Division (ATD) was set up in April 2002 and right now runs two big projects those are funded by National Science Council (NSC). One is "Active Fault Monitoring and Evaluation on Earthquake potential" from 2000 to 2004. The other one is "Earthquake Geological Investigation and Data Bank Establishment on Active Fault" from 2002 to 2006. The expansion schedule of these projects will be year-by-year and region-by-region. The ultimate goal is attaining complete coverage for the entire island of Taiwan. At present, ATD has put the recent results in the CGS web site. In the future, CGS will strengthen the analytical and data integration capabilities of the ATD for integration of geological, geomorphic, geophysical and geochemical information, and will expand the active faults database. The enhanced capabilities of the ATD will enable the CGS to integrate a wide range of the active faults related information in almost real-time, in support of all earthquake hazards response activities. These enhanced capabilities will also be used to construct predictive models in support of mitigation and planning to reduce future loss of life and property.

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