Xianshuihe fault system
The Xianshuihe fault system is a major active sinistral (left-lateral) strike-slip fault zone in southwestern China, at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It has been responsible for many major earthquakes, and is one of the most seismically active fault zones in this part of China.
The Xianshuihe fault system lies within the complex zone of continental collision between the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It forms one of a set of sinistral fault zones that help accommodate the eastward spreading of the Tibetan Plateau. The fault zone defines the northern and eastern edges of the Sichuan-Yunnan block, and the southeastern boundary of the Bayan Har block.
The Xianshuihe fault system comprises several distinct segments, with an overall length of about 350 km. The main segments are the Ganzi (or Ganzi-Yushu), the Xianshuihe, the Anninghe-Zemuhe, and the Xiaojiang faults.
Movements on this fault system have been responsible for many large historical earthquakes, with more than 20 events of magnitude greater than 6.5 since 1700. Some of these earthquakes have formed linked sequences, with each event being triggered by the previous one due to stress changes.
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- Liu Guan-Zhong; Ma Jin; Zhang Hong-xu; Wang Jian-Jun; Yang Yong-Lin & Wang Lin (2013). "Study on activity features of Xianshuihe fault zone with fault creep and short baseline observation for the last 20 years". Chinese Journal of Geophysics- Chinese Edition. 56 (3). doi:10.6038/cjg20130317.