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Historical earthquakes in Srinagar, Kashmir; clues from the Shiva Temple at Pandrethan

Roger Bilham, Bikram Singh Bali, M. Ismail Bhat and Susan Hough
Historical earthquakes in Srinagar, Kashmir; clues from the Shiva Temple at Pandrethan (in Ancient earthquakes, Manuel Sintubin (editor), Iain S. Stewart (editor), Tina M. Niemi (editor) and Erhan Altunel (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2010) 471: 107-117


Srinagar, the capital city of Kashmir, has been shaken numerous times by earthquakes in the past millennium, most recently by damaging earthquakes in 1885 (M 6.2, 30 km to the west) and 2005 (M 7.6, 200 km to the west) with estimated EMS (European Macroseismic Scale) intensity VI-VII. Earthquakes in Kashmir in earlier historical times are known only from fragmentary archival sources. We present and analyze unique, repeat photographs of the Pandrethan Temple near Srinagar, which we conclude can provide clues to the severity of nineteenth-century earthquakes. Photos taken in 1868 and 1885 and recently show that the temple, a 5.5-m-square masonry-block structure constructed ca. A.D. 920, was undamaged by these two earthquakes. We conclude that displaced blocks visible in the earliest extant photograph are the result of stronger shaking in the past, the most probable causal earthquake being in 1828. Considering the fragility of the structure, we conclude that anything greater than EMS intensity IX would have caused structural collapse. We thus conclude that Pandrethan has not experienced EMS intensity greater than VIII in the past 200 yr, and possibly not in the past millennium.

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 471
Title: Historical earthquakes in Srinagar, Kashmir; clues from the Shiva Temple at Pandrethan
Title: Ancient earthquakes
Author(s): Bilham, RogerBali, Bikram SinghBhat, M. IsmailHough, Susan
Author(s): Sintubin, Manueleditor
Author(s): Stewart, Iain S.editor
Author(s): Niemi, Tina M.editor
Author(s): Altunel, Erhaneditor
Affiliation: University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, Boulder, CO, United States
Affiliation: Katholieke Univesiteit Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Leuven, Belgium
Pages: 107-117
Published: 2010
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 23
Accession Number: 2011-015764
Categories: Quaternary geologySeismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch map
N32°10'00" - N37°00'00", E72°19'60" - E80°22'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Plymouth, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City, USA, United StatesEskisehir Osmangazi University, TUR, TurkeyUniversity of Kashmir, IND, IndiaU. S. Geological Survey, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201110
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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