Articles «Previous Next»

Recent Paleoseismic Investigations in Northern and Western Thailand

Clark H. Fenton, URS Corporation
Punya Charusiri, Chulalongkorn University
Spencer H. Wood, Boise State University

Article comments

This document was originally published by Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) in Annals of Geophysics. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: DOI:10.4401/ag-3464


Recent paleoseismic investigations have identified a number of active faults in Northern and Western Thailand. Northern Thailand is an intraplate basin and range province, comprised of north-south-trending Cenozoic intermontane grabens and half grabens, bounded by north- to northwest-striking normal to normal-oblique faults and northeast-striking left-lateral strike-slip faults. The basin-bounding normal faults are marked by steep, linear range fronts with triangular facets and wineglass canyons and have slip rates of 0.1 to 0.8 mm/yr. Based on limited data, the average vertical displacement-per-event is about 1.0 to 1.5 m. These faults are characterized by recurrence intervals of thousands to tens of thousands of years and are capable of generating earthquakes up to moment magnitude (M) 7, and larger. The northeast-striking strike-slip faults are marked by shutter ridges, and deflected drainages. Slip rates are 3 mm/yr or less. Western Thailand is dissected by a number of northwest- and north-northwest-striking, right-lateral strike-slip faults related to the Sagaing Fault in Myanmar. Although showing much less activity than the faults in neighboring Myanmar, these faults display abundant evidence for late Quaternary movement, including shutter ridges, sag ponds, and laterally offset streams. The slip rate on these faults is estimated to be 0.5 to 2.0 mm/yr. These faults are considered capable of generating maximum earthquakes of up to M 71/2.

Suggested Citation

Clark H. Fenton, Punya Charusiri, and Spencer H. Wood. "Recent Paleoseismic Investigations in Northern and Western Thailand" Annals of Geophysics 46.5 (2003): 957-981.
Available at: