• An integrated assessment of the geomorphic evolution of the Garhwal synform: Implications for the relative tectonic activity in the southern part of the Garhwal Himalaya

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    • Keywords


      Garhwal Himalaya; geomorphology; remote sensing and GIS; quaternary geology; geomorphic indices; relative tectonic activity; prioritisation.

    • Abstract


      The geomorphic changes over the earth’s crust are influenced by tectonic activities. These geomorphic changes are remnants of deformation that occurred in the recent geological past. Geomorphic features can be quantified to assess relative tectonic activity and response of landscape to active tectonics, regional structures, lithology and climate. To achieve the objectives, we evaluated the relative tectonic activity of the Garhwal synform, for which six major river basins were selected. The relative tectonic activity of all the basins is computed based on quantitative analysis of geomorphic indices. Quantitative analysis of each geomorphic parameter has been carried out, and a combined product of relative tectonic activity index (TAI) was derived for each basin. The TAI is classified into three classes based on their relative tectonic activity; basins having TAI value ${\leq}$1.75 (basins I, II and III) are placed in very high tectonic activity class, basin with a value ranging >1.75 to ${\le}$2.0 are categorised as moderately active basins (basin ‘IV’), while basins having values >2.0 are less active (basins V and VI). A relative tectonic activity map of the area surfaces for the prioritisation of each basin based upon their TAI. Furthermore, analysis of the longitudinal profile of rivers for knickpoint, precipitation and temperature variability over the last 100 years and seismic events since the last 100 years have been studied to interpret the tectonic regime and their influence on landscape evolution. The regional seismicity data suggest that the area falls in a seismic gap and has not experienced a great earthquake in recent history but have received seismic events of moderate intensity in the past. We opine that the Garhwal synform is tectonically active, and thus, significant steps should be taken for seismic risk assessment along with preventive measures. We also suggest that the influence of tectonic activities in the southeastern part of the Garhwal synform comprised by basins V and VI is relatively less than the rest of the basins. Finally, the six basins were prioritised based on their relative tectonic activity.


      $\bullet$ Assessment of geomorphic indices from 30 m shuttle radar topography mission-digital elevation model (SRTM-DEM) in six drainage basins of the Garhwal Himalaya.

      $\bullet$ Six river basins categorised under relative tectonic classes based on the calculation of geomorphic indices.

      $\bullet$ Correlation of the large-scale geological setting and drainage basin dynamics contemplated with field evidence and regional seismicity.

      $\bullet$ Quantification of relative tectonic activity index (TAI) of six river basins in the Lesser Himalaya of the Garhwal Himalaya.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Department of Geology, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttarakhand 246 164, India.
      2. Centre of Advanced Study in Geology, Institute of Science, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India.
    • Dates

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