Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • High velocity anomaly beneath the Deccan volcanic province: Evidence from seismic tomography

      H M Iyer V K Gaur S S Rai D S Ramesh CVR Rao D Srinagesh K Suryaprakasam

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      Analysis of teleseismicP-wave residuals observed at 15 seismograph stations operated in the Deccan volcanic province (DVP) in west central India points to the existence of a large, deep anomalous region in the upper mantle where the velocity is a few per cent higher than in the surrounding region. The seismic stations were operated in three deployments together with a reference station on precambrian granite at Hyderabad and another common station at Poona. The first group of stations lay along a west-northwesterly profile from Hyderabad through Poona to Bhatsa. The second group roughly formed an L-shaped profile from Poona to Hyderabad through Dharwar and Hospet. The third group of stations lay along a northwesterly profile from Hyderabad to Dhule through Aurangabad and Latur. Relative residuals computed with respect to Hyderabad at all the stations showed two basic features: a large almost linear variation from approximately +1s for teleseisms from the north to—1s for those from the southeast at the western stations, and persistance of the pattern with diminishing magnitudes towards the east. Preliminary ray-plotting and three-dimensional inversion of theP-wave residual data delineate the presence of a 600 km long approximately N−S trending anomalous region of high velocity (1–4% contrast) from a depth of about 100 km in the upper mantle encompassing almost the whole width of the DVP. Inversion ofP-wave relative residuals reveal the existence of two prominent features beneath the DVP. The first is a thick high velocity zone (1–4% faster) extending from a depth of about 100 km directly beneath most of the DVP. The second feature is a prominent low velocity region which coincides with the westernmost part of the DVP. A possible explanation for the observed coherent high velocity anomaly is that it forms the root of the lithosphere which coherently translates with the continents during plate motions, an architecture characteristic of precambrian shields. The low velocity zone appears to be related to the rift systems (anomaly 28, 65 Ma) which provided the channel for the outpouring of Deccan basalts at the close of the Cretaceous period.

    • Anomalous granulite crust of South India — signatures from converted teleseismic waves

      D S Ramesh D Srinagesh S S RAI K S PRAKASAM

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      Analysis of teleseismic waves usingS-P converted phases, travel time-terms and residual travel times point to the presence of an anomalous thick (4—5 km thicker) low velocity (−3%) crust beneath Kodaikanal (KOD) on granulites characterized by an oriented inhomogeneity inferred as possibly due to Mylonites in contrast to the nature of crust beneath the adjoining precambrian granite-gneiss terrain. The observed seismic signatures in the South India granulites (represented by KOD) offer an opportunity to discriminate between the competing hypotheses of tectonic thickening and magmatic underplating to explain the origin of the granulites of South India. This analysis lends support to the hypothesis of a continent-continent collision origin for the granulites in the study region.

    • Magnitude estimation of regional earthquakes in India and its adjoining region


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      To provide reliable and quick estimation of magnitude for moderate to large earthquakes at regional distances, two magnitude relations specific to the peninsular shield have been proposed based on long-period magnitude ($M_{A}$) and energy magnitude ($M_{E}$), using broadband velocity data of 23 regional events recorded at 18-station seismic network in the state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, India. $M_{A}$ is estimated using amplitude of filtered (0.03–0.08 Hz) broadband velocity seismograms, while $M_{E}$ is estimated based on radiated energy using broadband velocity spectra. It is observed that $M_{A}$ for larger events with $M_{w}$ >7.2 saturates, whilst $M_{E}$ does not suffer from saturation even for larger events. Thus, it is apparent that these two magnitude relations can provide magnitude estimates without saturation for all moderate to large regional earthquakes, which, in turn, can provide a homogeneous catalogue for moderate to large regional Indian earthquakes. The data transmission from remote stations to the central server at CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) is quasi-real-time since it is connected by GPRS and VSAT. Using the proposed region specific magnitude relationships it becomes possible to estimate reliable magnitudes for moderate to large regional Indian earthquakes ($M_{w} \leq 7.2$) within 30 min of the occurrence of an event.

    • Appraisal of Veldurti–Kalva–Gani (VKG) fault, Cuddapah Basin, India: Gravity and magnetic approach


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      A ${\sim}$60 km long Veldurti–Kalva–Gani (VKG) fault is one of the identified strike-slip faults extending from Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC) to Cuddapah basin in South Indian Shield. The recorded recent seismic activity during year 2012–2016 show occurrences of three microseismic events (<$M_{w}$ 2.0) in the vicinity of this fault. Historically, no major seismic events are recorded near this fault except magnitude of 5.0–5.9 (1843) earthquake at about ${\sim}$80 km west of this fault near Bellary. In the present study, analysis of available gravity, aeromagnetic and newly acquired ground gravity and magnetic data in the vicinity of the fault has been carried out to understand subsurface characteristics of this VKG fault and nearby structural features related to recent seismic activity. Analysis of aeromagnetic and gravity data shows shallow origin of the fault and earthquakes are associated with the zone of intersection like cross faults/lineaments which are parallel and perpendicular to the VKG fault. The calculated log normalized radially averaged power spectrum of the available gravity and aeromagnetic data shows four average depths $h_{0}$ (12.7 km), $h_{1}$ (6 km), $h_{2}$ (2.0 km) and $h_{3}$ (0.5 km). These estimated depths are possibly, bottom of the upper crust, thickness of the Cuddapah basin sediments, horizon of the basic sills, flows and the ferruginous quartzites and cumulative stratigraphic thickness of the Tadpatri shales and the Kurnools in the areas, respectively. The jointly inverted 2-D model from the ground gravity and aeromagnetic data along 2.7 km profile across VKG fault shows, faulting between Banganapalli Quartzite and Tadpatri Shales. The estimated average focal depth from the observed microseismic events is around 13 km. It is concluded from the present study that the observed microseismic events in the vicinity of VKG fault are associated with the intersection zones of cross faults/lineaments near the VKG fault and originated at an average depth of 13 km might be bottom of the upper crust. The estimated depths from the present analysis are well corroborated with previous geophysical studies.


      $\bullet$ Mapping of Veldurti–Kalva–Gani fault through gravity, magnetic and aeromagnetic data which is associated with recent seismic activity.

      $\bullet$ Understanding of origin of the seismic activity through spectral analysis.

      $\bullet$ Estimation of depth to the basement, upper crust and thickness of Cuddapah basin sediments in the study region.

      $\bullet$ Estimation of focal depth from seismological data and corroboration with spectral analysis of gravity and aeromagnetic data.

    • Urbanization effect on Hyderabad seismic station


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      Seismographs record earthquakes and also record various types of noise, including anthropogenic noise. In the present study, we analyse the influence of the lockdown due to COVID-19 on the ground motion at CSIR-NGRI HYB Seismological Observatory, Hyderabad. We analyse the noise recorded a week before and after the implementation of lockdown by estimating the probability density function of seismic power spectral density and by constructing the daily spectrograms. We find that at low frequency (${\le}$1 Hz), where the noise is typically dominated by naturally occurring microseismic noise, a reduction of ${\sim}$2 dB for secondary microseisms (7–3 s) and at higher frequency (1–10 Hz) a reduction of ${\sim}$6 dB was observed during the lockdown period. The reduction in higher frequencies corresponding to anthropogenic noise sources led to improving the SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) by a factor of 2 which is the frequency bandwidth of the microearthquakes leading to the identification of microearthquakes with Ml around 3 from epicentral distances of 180 km.

    • Seismotectonic significance of the December 1, 2020 Haridwar, India earthquake (M 4.3), a lower crust event near the Himalayan topographic front


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      Earthquakes in the Himalayan arc occur due to the interaction of Indian and Eurasian plates, and a great majority of themare of interplate type, occurring on the MainHimalayan Thrust (MHT). Some earthquakes, however, occur south of the Himalayan arc within the subducting Indian plate and majority of these earthquakes occur on the subducting ridges of the Indian plate, the most prominent of which is the Delhi–Haridwar ridge. The December 1, 2020 ($M_L$ 4.3,$M_W$ 3.8) earthquake is one such event whose source parameters are very well constrained by the local network installed in the region. The earthquake occurred close to theHimalayan Frontal Thrust at a depth of 36 km. The estimated focal mechanism from moment tensor inversion shows a strike-slip mechanism, with P-axis orientation concurrent with Indian plate motion with respect to Eurasia. The stress drop of 9.4 ± 3.7 MPa is consistent with relatively higher stress drop in intraplate earthquakes. Based on the estimated parameters, we qualitatively evaluated whether it occurred (i) on the newly discovered southernmost deformation front, referred as the piedmont fault, which developed in response to the southward propagation of the Himalayan wedge, (ii) due to Cexure in the Indian plate caused by long term subduction, (iii) due to strong coupling on theMHTcausing Cexure in the foreland, and (iv) on the northward extension of theDelhiHaridwar ridge.We propose that it probably occurred on the northward continuation of the Delhi–Haridwar ridge as similar earthquakes occur on this ridge in and around the Delhi region. We also suggest that the 1988 Udaipur (Nepal) earthquake, which had a similar focal depth, location, and focal mechanism, occurred on the Munger–Saharsa ridge’s northward continuation. The strong coupling on the MHT in the adjoining Himalayan segments might have helped in the occurrence of both earthquakes.

    • Coda Q from educational seismograph network around Koyna–Warna, western India


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      We computed the coda wave attenuation ($Q_C$) using reservoir-induced seismicity of the Koyna–Warna region in the western part of the Indian shield. We analyzed 484 local seismograms recorded by 16 broadband seismic stations at central frequencies 1.5, 3, 6, 12, and 24 Hz for lapse time window lengths 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s using the single-backscattering method (Aki and Chouet 1975). The results show that spatial variation of $Q_C$, increases from west to east, and north to south in the study region. Our lapse time-dependent of $Q_C$ estimates are (138.05±37.41)$f^{(1.07±0.07)}$, (191.18±45.24)$f^{(1.00±0.07)}$, (240.07±61.50)$f^{(0.95±0.08)}$, and (299.42±76.32)$f^{(0.88±0.07)}$ for 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, respectively. The results show that low $Q_C$ at low frequencies (<3 Hz), which indicates high attenuation at a shallow depth of the region. We compared $Q_C$ with other regions of the world, as well as in India. Our results are high compared to the earlier studies in the Koyna–Warna region. The frequency-dependent parameter, ${\eta}$ is greater than 1, which represents that the study region is seismically active. This study is important for evaluating the source parameters and seismic hazard assessment of the region.


      $\bullet$ These are the first scientific Qc results obtained using educational seismographs installed in schools in the western part of India.

      $\bullet$ We have used 484 local earthquakes using 16 seismic stations in the Koyna-Warna region for this study.

      $\bullet$ The region shows low QC to the west of compared to east of WGE and it is high for east of Koyna reservoir.

      $\bullet$ The η values are high, varying between 0.76 and 1.19, which indicates the region is heterogeneous and seismically active.

      $\bullet$ The seismic quality factor, QC values are little high and they agree with previous studies in the region.

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