Both historical (noninstrumental) and modern (instrumental) data are compiled and critically reviewed to document the seismicity of Pakistan, Afghanistan, northwestern India, southeastern Iran, and neighboring areas. Earthquakes occurring between 1914 and 1965 are systematically relocated and magnitudes are determined for these events when possible. For some of the larger earthquakes, in both historical and modern times, the orientation and length of the rupture zone, and an approximate value of the seismic moment, are estimated.
The usefulness of the documented seismicity to locate the sites of future large earthquakes in this part of the world is limited. The restricted historical record, the occurrence of earthquakes over wide zones (i.e., less confined than at oceanic subduction zones), and the long recurrence intervals combine to make the identification of seismic gaps, with a significant potential for rupture in large earthquakes, a difficult procedure. Seismicity variations prior to the great earthquake in the Makran region along the southern coast of Pakistan, in 1945, appear to be consistent with patterns identified before large earthquakes else-where in the world. Recent patterns of seismicity farther west along the Makran coast may be consistent with those for a zone in preparation for a large future earthquake; however, this observation is based on a limited amount of data.