Although the Qilian–Haiyuan fault is known to be responsible for major earthquakes up to M 8, the potential of damaging earthquakes near its western end is not well understood. Since January 2022, three moderate earthquakes (M 5.8, M 6.0, and M 5.4) occurred around the Halahu region of Delingha, China, near the western end of the Qilian–Haiyuan fault. These earthquakes are unusual M 5+ events in this low‐seismicity region, and both the U.S. Geological Survey and Global Centroid Moment Tensor solutions suggest that the focal mechanisms of the three mainshocks are distinct from the activity characteristics of the nearby mapped faults. Thus, determining the precise source parameters and identifying the causative fault of this earthquake sequence are important to analyze its seismogenic settings and seismic hazard in this region. In this article, we determined the point‐source parameters of the three moderate events via regional waveform modeling and found that these earthquakes are strike‐slip events with the nodal planes striking nearly north–south and east–west directions. We then resolved its seismogenic faults by analyzing the aftershock distribution and the rupture directivity. The results show that both the M 5.8 and M 6.0 events ruptured along the north–south nodal plane and expanded toward the south for ∼4 km and ∼3 km, respectively, and the ruptured fault of the M 5.4 is difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, we constrained the relative location using the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar observation, and the result is consistent with that obtained from seismic waveform data. We proposed that this earthquake sequence ruptured along an unmapped dextral fault, which forms a conjugate fault system with the sinistral strike‐slip Qilian–Haiyuan fault. Its deformation mechanism may be controlled by long‐term, protracted, nearly north–south‐trending, right‐lateral simple shear in the Qilian Shan fold‐thrust belt. The accumulated static Coulomb stress changes resulted in the northwest of this ruptured fault being closer to failure in the future.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.