Abstract

Postseismic decrease in groundwater temperature was documented on the upper rim of a large alluvial fan near the epicenter of the 1999 Mw 7.5 Chi-Chi earthquake (Taiwan). We use a model of coupled heat transport and groundwater flow, constrained by documented water-level changes, to interpret this change. We show that groundwater temperature is sensitive to earthquake-induced flow and the observed temperature decrease may be explained by increased groundwater discharge due to earthquake-enhanced vertical permeability. The result implies that heat flow near active mountain fronts may be lowered by recurrent earthquakes.

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