3 new active geological faults identified in Taiwan, bringing total to 36

Three new active geological faults have been identified in central and southern Taiwan, the Central Geological Survey of the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced yesterday, January 4.

The Chuxiang Fault, Kouxiaoli Fault and Chegualin Fault, are located in Nantou County, Tainan City, and Kaohsiung City, and bring the total number of active fault lines identified in Taiwan to 36, the CGS said.

The definition of “active faults,” according to the CGS, are “faults that have been active since the late Pleistocene and may be active again in the future.” The Chuxiang, Kouxiaoli, and Chegualin faults are determined to be active faults because there is evidence of activity within 100,000 years, and their lengths are greater than 5 kilometers. Therefore they have been included in the active fault distribution map, the CGS said.

The Chuxiang fault, is 20 kilometers long, and last moved 13,000 years ago. The 21-kilometer-long Kouxiaoli fault’s most recent movement was 12,670 years ago, and the 25-kilometer-long Chegualin fault last moved 7,500 years ago.

A 2012 survey brought the total number of identified active faults to 33. The 2021 active fault map has been updated with data collected since 2016, including the three new active faults.

The geological survey said that the map data can be used as a reference for planning purposes such as national land planning, land development review, disaster prevention and rescue, emergency response, and building design.

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