Recent seismic activity in the NW Himalayan Fold and Thrust Belt, Pakistan: focal mechanism solution and its tectonic implications
MonaLisa, 2009. "Recent seismic activity in the NW Himalayan Fold and Thrust Belt, Pakistan: focal mechanism solution and its tectonic implications", Palaeoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Records of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment, K. Reicherter, A. M. Michetti, P. G. Silva
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The Himalayas in northern Pakistan have been the site of several disastrous earthquakes of moderate to high intensity. The 8 October 2005 Muzaffarabad earthquake, with magnitude Mw 7.6, occurred in the NW Himalayan Fold and Thrust Belt at 08:50:38 local time. The epicentre of the main shock was located 19 km NE of Muzaffarabad. This earthquake took a death toll of more than 80 000 human lives and caused widespread destruction in Kashmir and north Pakistan, particularly in the towns of Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Rawalakot, Mansehra, Balakot, Abbottabad and Batgram. Based on the information obtained from print and electronic media (and for some areas from field studies), an intensity of X (MMI scale) has been assigned at the epicentral location including the localities of Muzaffarabad and Balakot. Epicentral distribution of 300 aftershocks indicates that more than one tectonic subdivision of the fold belt have experienced instability. Focal depths indicate that most activity is confined to a narrow depth range (5–20 km). Further extension of the Indus Kohistan Seismic Zone in the Hazara–Kashmir syntaxial area and activation of more than one fault seem to be the cause of this seismic activity, as suggested by the focal mechanism of the main event and depth distribution of the aftershocks. About 100 large landslides caused by active faulting have been observed in the rupture zones near Balakot, Muzaffarabad, Kardalla, Hattian Bala, Sarain, Sunddangali and Bagh, through field studies and satellite images.
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Palaeoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Records of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment
Given the tremendous toll in human lives and attendant economic losses, it is appropriate that scientists are working hard to understand better earthquakes, with the aim of forecasting and, ultimately, predicting them.
In the last decades increasing attention has been paid to the coseismic effects on the natural environment, creating a solid base of empirical data for the estimation of source parameters of strong earthquakes based on geological observations. The recently introduced INQUA scale (Environmental Seismic Intensity–ESI 2007 Scale) of macroseismic intensity clearly shows how the systematic study of earthquake surface faulting, coseismic liquefaction, tsunami deposits and other primary and secondary ground effects can be integrated with “traditional” seismological and tectonic information to provide a better understanding of the seismicity level of an area and the associated hazards. At the moment this is the only scientific means of equating the seismic records to the seismic cycle time-spans extending the seismic catalogues even to tens of thousands of years, improving future seismic hazard analyses.
This Special Publication covers some of the latest multidisciplinary work undertaken to achieve that aim. Eighteen papers from research groups from all continents address a wide range of topics related both to palaeoseismological studies and assessment of macroseismic intensity based only on the natural phenomena associated with an earthquake.