Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 97–117 | Cite as

Co-Seismic Response of Bedrock Temperature to the Ms6.3 Kangding Earthquake on 22 November 2014 in Sichuan, China

  • Shunyun ChenEmail author
  • Peixun Liu
  • Yanshuang Guo
  • Liqiang Liu
  • Jin Ma


In this paper, we report the co-seismic temperature response of the Ms6.3 Kangding earthquake in Sichuan, China, which occurred within a bedrock temperature monitoring station network constructed in the east of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Results indicate that two kinds of co-seismic responses of bedrock temperature, exponential and step-rise ones, were recorded at different stations. As for the former, the amplitude of co-seismic response is about 5.6–11.5 mK (the average value is 7.33 mK), while the latter is about 0.31–0.98 mK (the average value is 0.52 mK). These two kinds of responses would be indicative of the two different mechanisms for change in temperature. On the one hand, the exponential responses represent the effects of fluid advection along the borehole wall, which are associated with a finite quantity of heat produced by earthquake-driven transient fluid flow. The step-rise responses, on the other hand, represent the direct response of temperature to change in the crustal stress accompanying with earthquake. We still tested relationship between stress variation and temperature response on the rock samples taken from the boreholes, and the average value is 0.77 mK/MPa. Upon thus, these step-rise temperature responses imply that co-seismic change in mean stress is about 0.40 MPa. We simplify effects of fluid by presuming a one-dimensional model where the flow is either up or down based on a pressure change due to compression or tension. The stress state, compression or tension, deduced by the direction of the fluid flow is qualitatively accordant with the direct response of bedrock temperature to stress change. In summary, characteristic changes in bedrock temperature occurred coincidentally with the earthquake at different stations, agreeing generally with regional stress adjustments accompanying the earthquake. Changes in bedrock temperature do seem to offer a useful means of monitoring dynamic changes in shallow crustal stress.


Bedrock temperature changes in crustal stress co-seismic response the effect of underground water Kangding earthquake China 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41474162), and by Basic Research Funds from the Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration (Grant No. IGCEA1605). Thanks to Qi Wen-bo and Zhuo Yan-qun, who conducted the experiments. Prof. Wen Xue-ze and Prof. Chen Li-chun provided useful help for this work; Prof. Zhou Yong-sheng and Prof. He Chang-rong provided helpful suggestions. We also thank Patrick Fulton and four anonymous reviewers for their helpful reviews of an earlier version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shunyun Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peixun Liu
    • 1
  • Yanshuang Guo
    • 1
  • Liqiang Liu
    • 1
  • Jin Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of GeologyChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina

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