On 18 November 2017, an Mw 6.9 earthquake occurred in Milin, Tibet, with the epicenter at the top of the Namche Barwa syntaxis. This event did not produce surface ruptures, and its seismogenic structure remains unclear or controversial. Using the locations of the Milin mainshock and aftershocks, locations of regional small earthquakes and focal mechanism solutions from 2007 to 2009, this work analyzed the causative fault and tectonic setting of the Milin earthquake and assessed the regional seismic risk. The results suggest that the seismogenic structure of the Milin earthquake was a secondary fault, the southern branch of the XiXingla fault (XXLF). Within 28 hr after the mainshock, the aftershocks of the Milin event spread northeastward to the secondary north branch fault of the XXLF and the secondary south branch fault of the Palong–Pangxin fault. Across the top of the Namche Barwa syntaxis (Namche Barwa block) and the Chayu block in the southeast, an earthquake dense belt (EDB) has developed. This EDB has similar deep structures beneath the two blocks, in which several northeast‐dipping structural planes exit, and different portions of the EDB imply a unified tectonic stress field. Combining these data with the foreshock–mainshock–aftershock data for the 1950 Mw 8.6 Chayu, Tibet, earthquake, we speculate that the structural planes produced by the EDB at depth in the two blocks have already been connected or tended to connect, resulting in a new fault system trending northwest and approximately 280 km long. The 2017 Mw 6.9 Milin earthquake occurred at the northwestern end of this fault system. At present, the development stage, maturity, and fine structure of this new fault system remain unclear but should receive additional attention. Based on its maximum rupture area, this new fault system is capable of generating an Mw 7.7 earthquake in the future.

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