Seismotectonics of the 2014 Chiang Rai, Thailand, earthquake sequence

P. Pananont*, M. W. Herman, P. Pornsopin, K. P. Furlong, S. Habangkaem, F. Waldhauser, W. Wongwai, S. Limpisawad, P. Warnitchai, S. Kosuwan, B. Wechbunthung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


On 5 May 2014, a Mw 6.2 strike-slip earthquake occurred in the Mae Lao region of Chiang Rai province in Thailand. This earthquake took place in a region of known faults and caused substantial damage and injuries, although the region had been previously identified as having a relatively low earthquake hazard. Detailed field reconnaissance and deployment of a dense, temporary, network of broadband seismometers allowed details of the damage and its relationship to seismicity to be analyzed. The aftershock sequence associated with this main shock occurs on two well-defined trends, reflecting the two potential fault planes in earthquake mechanisms for the main shock and the majority of the aftershocks. The damage area was relatively large for an event of this magnitude, but building damage was largely limited to the primary rupture region, while liquefaction and other ground failure are spatially associated with the rupture area and along regional rivers. Stress modeling, combined with the time series and pattern of aftershock activity, leads us to propose that slip near the northern termination of the main shock rupture continued slightly onto a conjugate fault, helping to trigger the distinct pattern of two discrete, conjugate trends of aftershock activity that mirror the kinematics of the main shock fault mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6367-6388
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Chiang Rai
  • earthquake effect
  • seismicity
  • seismotectonics
  • tectonic
  • Thailand


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