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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2011, Article ID 802346, 7 pages
Research Article

Analysis of the Crust Deformations before and after the 2008 Wenchuan Ms8.0 Earthquake Based on GPS Measurements

1Department of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
3Institute of Earthquake Science, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100036, China
4Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, Beijing 100830, China

Received 20 December 2010; Revised 18 March 2011; Accepted 19 March 2011

Academic Editor: Yun-Tai Chen

Copyright © 2011 Jicang Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We use the movement velocities of GPS stations in western Sichuan province, China, to determine the distribution of horizontal strain accumulation before the 2008 Wenchuan Ms8.0 earthquake with a piecewise approximation approach and the coseismic displacements to determine the fault slips of the earthquake with an inversion analysis method. The results show that the distribution of the principal strain rates is strongly related to the active faults in the region, but along Longmenshan fault where the earthquake occurred, the strain rates are much lower than the others. The fault slip distribution shows mainly a thrusting with dextral striking, and the fault slips in the upper parts of the fault plane are in general bigger. Using the current strain accumulation rate and the released energy by the earthquake, we predict such a big earthquake in Longmenshan fault zone will happen in 460 to 1380 years.