Geoscience’s Lewis and Recent Grad O’Hara Publish on Tectonic Collision in Taiwan

Posted on 6/23/2015 2:24:41 PM
Dan O'Hara in a classroom

Recent geoscience graduate Dan O'Hara ’14 (above) worked with IUP professor Jon Lewis and Ruey-Juin Rau from National Cheng Kung University on research that the team recently published on seismogenic strain in southern Taiwan.


Professor Jon Lewis

Professor Jon Lewis

Jon Lewis, Dan O’Hara ’14, now a PhD student at the University of Oregon, and Ruey-Juin Rau from National Cheng Kung University published their work in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

In their paper, “Seismogenic strain across the transition from fore‐arc slivering to collision in southern Taiwan,” Lewis and the research team use earthquake data to examine the region off shore of southeastern Taiwan.

They argue that strain tensors derived from earthquake data suggest pre-collision slivering of the Luzon fore arc.

The connection between offshore active seismic zones and the active faults of eastern Taiwan appears to promote basin formation, providing a mechanism for burial of the Luzon fore-arc basement in the collision zone. This may explain why the tectonic suture zone of eastern Taiwan, i.e., the Longitudinal Valley, is alarmingly straight in spite of the fact that the colliding plate edges are irregular.

This work was started under a collaborative National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to Lewis to work on the mechanical role that plate edges play in controlling crustal architecture. It was finalized with help from a subsequent collaborative NSF grant that is aimed at exploring the factors that drive non-equilibrium topography in southern Taiwan.

Department of Geoscience