We have examined the rupture process of the 2010 Yushu, China, earthquake, which occurred in the eastern Tibetan plateau. Based on the results of centroid location grid searches, the aftershock distribution, and InSAR observations, we first constructed a left-lateral strike-slip bending fault model. We then carried out joint inversions of the teleseismic waveform data and InSAR data using various rupture front velocities. We obtained the optimum source model with a seismic moment of 2.3 × 1019 N m (Mw ∼ 6.8), where the rupture velocity was found to be slightly faster than the shear wave velocity of the crust in this region. This supershear rupture velocity resulted in severe damage in and around the county seat of Yushu, which is located in the forward rupture direction of the source model. The features of this event, such as the shallow and fast rupture propagation may represent a seismic feature of the tectonic activity in the eastern Tibetan plateau.
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