The cause for prolific seismicity in the Koyna region is a geological enigma. Attempts have been made to link occurrence of these earthquakes with tectonic strain as well as the nearby reservoirs. With a view to providing reliable seismological database for studying the earth structure and the earthquake process in the Koyna region, a state of the art digital seismic network was deployed for twenty months during 1996–97. We present preliminary results from this experiment covering an area of 60 × 80 km2 with twenty seismic stations. Hypocentral locations of more than 400 earthquakes confined to 11×25 km2 reveal fragmentation in the seismicity pattern — a NE — SW segment has a dip towards NW at approximately 45°, whilst the other two segments show a near vertical trend. These seismic segments have a close linkage with the Western Ghat escarpment and the Warna fault. Ninety per cent of the seismicity is confined within the depth range of 3–10 km. The depth distribution of earthquakes delimits the seismogenic zone with its base at 10 km indicating a transition from an unstable to stable frictional sliding regime. The lack of shallow seismicity between 0 and 3 km indicates a mature fault system with well-developed gouge zones, which inhibit shallow earthquake nucleation. Local earthquake travel time inversion for P- and S-waves show ≈ 2% higher velocity in the seismogenic crust (0–10 km) beneath the epicentral tract relative to a lower velocity (2–3%) in the adjoining region. The high P- and S-wave velocity in the seismogenic crust argues against the presence of high pressure fluid zones and suggests its possible linkage with denser lithology. The zone of high velocity has been traced to deeper depths (≈ 70 km) through teleseismic tomography. The results reveal segmented and matured seismogenic fault systems in the Koyna region where seismicity is possibly controlled by strain build up due to competent lithology in the seismic zone with a deep crustal root.
Volume 129, 2020
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