Abstract

Using the Kaila and Narain (1971) method, three quantitative seismicity maps have been prepared for the Indian subcontinent which are compared with regional tectonics. These are the A-value map, the b-value map and the return-period map for earthquakes with magnitude 6 and above where A and b are the constants in the cumulative regression curve represented by log N = A - bM. The A-value seismicity map shows that India can be divided into two broad seismic zones, the northern seismically highly active zone and the southern moderately active zone. In the northern active zone, a number of seismic highs have been delineated such as the Pamir high, the northwest-southeast trending Srinagar-Almora high, the Shillong massif high, the Arakan Yoma high and the West Pakistan highs. These seismic highs are consistent with the Himalayan tectonic trends. Contrary to this, two seismic highs fall in the Tibet plateau region which align transversely to the main Himalayan trend. In the southern moderately active zone, two seismic highs are clearly discernible, the east and the west coast high, the latter being seismically more active than the former. The least active zone encompasses the Vindhyan syncline and the areas of Delhi and Aravalli folding. Between this zone and the east coast high lies another moderately active zone which encloses the Godavari graben, western part of the Mahanadi graben and the Chattisgarh depression. The b-value seismicity map also demarcates the same active zones as are brought out on the A-value map. The return-period map of India for earthquakes with magnitude 6 and above shows a minimum return period of 100 years in the Pamirs, about 130 years in the various seismic highs in the northern active zone, 180 years on the west coast high, 200 years on the east coast high and about 230 years in the least active Vindhyan-Aravalli zone and the Hyderabad-Kurnool area. These quantitative seismicity maps are also compared with the seismic zoning map of Indian Standards Institution and seismicity maps of India prepared by other workers.

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