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Active fault and paleoseismic studies in Kangra Valley; evidence of surface rupture of a Great Himalayan 1905 Kangra earthquake (Mw 7.8), northwest Himalaya, India

Javed N. Malik, Santiswarup Sahoo, S. Satuluri and Koji Okumura
Active fault and paleoseismic studies in Kangra Valley; evidence of surface rupture of a Great Himalayan 1905 Kangra earthquake (Mw 7.8), northwest Himalaya, India
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (September 2015) 105 (5): 2325-2342

Abstract

Our findings suggest that interseismic strain accumulated south of the fault ramp under the Higher Himalayas was not only released periodically along the Himalayan frontal thrust (HFT) during large-magnitude earthquakes, but also along the active faults in the hinterland. The 4 April 1905 Kangra earthquake (M (sub w) 7.8) killed more than 20,000 people and destroyed the towns of Kangra and Dharamsala in northwest Himalaya. In spite of its large magnitude, with a maximum intensity X on the Rossi-Forel intensity scale recorded in the epicentral area, no surface rupture was reported, and no focal mechanism is available.This article uses satellite imagery and field mapping to identify an active right-lateral strike-slip fault, named the Kangra Valley fault (KVF). We infer that the KVF represents the surface rupture of the 1905 Kangra earthquake, extending west-northwest-east-southeast and east-west for approximately 60 km. It cuts through the Kangra and Sihunta Valleys and is capable of producing M (sub w) > or =7.2 earthquakes. Existence of the KVF in the Kangra re-entrant is indicative of oblique convergence and slip partitioning between the Main Boundary thrust in the north, the Jawalamukhi thrust in the south, and a strike-slip fault in the northwest Himalaya. Paleoseismic investigations revealed evidence of at least four earthquakes on the KVF. Event I (oldest) occurred before 900 B.C. or between 900 B.C. and 2500 B.C.; Event II occurred between 100 B.C. and 80 B.C.; penultimate Event III occurred around A.D. 800 and A.D. 1000; and, the most recent event, Event IV occurred after A.D. 1620 and before A.D. 1940 and is likely the 1905 Kangra earthquake (M (sub w) 7.8). A longer recurrence along the KVF is inferred between older paleoearthquake Events I and II, and a shorter interval of 1050+ or -150 years is inferred between younger events (II, III, and IV). Because the strain during the 1905 Kangra earthquake was released along the KVF, potential for large-magnitude earthquakes in northwest Himalaya along the HFT still remains.


ISSN: 0037-1106
EISSN: 1943-3573
Coden: BSSAAP
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Serial Volume: 105
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Active fault and paleoseismic studies in Kangra Valley; evidence of surface rupture of a Great Himalayan 1905 Kangra earthquake (Mw 7.8), northwest Himalaya, India
Affiliation: Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Department of Civil Engineering, Kanpur, India
Pages: 2325-2342
Published: 20150915
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, Berkeley, CA, United States
References: 47
Accession Number: 2015-099296
Categories: Quaternary geologyStructural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch maps
N27°30'00" - N34°00'00", E75°00'00" - E99°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Hiroshima University, IND, India
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201542
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