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Seismotectonics of the April-May 2015 Nepal earthquakes: An assessment based on the aftershock patterns, surface effects and deformational characteristics

Parameswaran, Revathy M and Natarajan, Thulasiraman and Rajendran, Kusala and Rajendran, CP and Mallick, Rishav and Wood, Matthew and Lekhak, Harish C (2015) Seismotectonics of the April-May 2015 Nepal earthquakes: An assessment based on the aftershock patterns, surface effects and deformational characteristics. In: JOURNAL OF ASIAN EARTH SCIENCES, 111 . pp. 161-174.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2015.07.030


Occurrence of the April 25, 2015 (Mw 7.8) earthquake near Gorkha, central Nepal, and another one that followed on May 12 (Mw 7.3), located similar to 140 km to its east, provides an exceptional opportunity to understand some new facets of Himalayan earthquakes. Here we attempt to assess the seismotectonics of these earthquakes based on the deformational field generated by these events, along with the spatial and temporal characteristics of their aftershocks. When integrated with some of the post-earthquake field observations, including the localization of damage and surface deformation, it became obvious that although the mainshock slip was mostly limited to the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT), the rupture did not propagate to the Main Frontal Thrust (MFT). Field evidence, supported by the available InSAR imagery of the deformation field, suggests that a component of slip could have emerged through a previously identified out-of-sequence thrust/active thrust in the region that parallels the Main Central Thrust (MCT), known in the literature as a co-linear physiographic transitional zone called PT2. Termination of the first rupture, triggering of the second large earthquake, and distribution of aftershocks are also spatially constrained by the eastern extremity of PT2. Mechanism of the 2015 sequence demonstrates that the out-of-sequence thrusts may accommodate part of the slip, an aspect that needs to be considered in the current understanding of the mechanism of earthquakes originating on the MHT. (c) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, THE BOULEVARD, LANGFORD LANE, KIDLINGTON, OXFORD OX5 1GB, ENGLAND
Keywords: Seismicity; Nepal Himalaya; Earthquakes; Surface deformation; Aftershocks; Physiographic transition; Out-of-sequence thrust
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 05:06
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 10:30
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52713

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