P N S Roy
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 121 Issue 4 August 2012 pp 1033-1047
Himalayan seismicity is related to continuing northward convergence of Indian plate against Eurasian plate. Earthquakes in this region are mainly caused due to release of elastic strain energy. The Himalayan region can be attributed to highly complex geodynamic process and therefore is best suited for multifractal seismicity analysis. Fractal analysis of earthquakes (mb ≥ 3.5) occurred during 1973–2008 led to the detection of a clustering pattern in the narrow time span. This clustering was identified in three windows of 50 events each having low spatial correlation fractal dimension ($D_C$) value 0.836, 0.946 and 0.285 which were mainly during the span of 1998 to 2005. This clustering may be considered as an indication of a highly stressed region. The Guttenberg Richter 𝑏-value was determined for the same subsets considered for the $D_C$ estimation. Based on the fractal clustering pattern of events, we conclude that the clustered events are indicative of a highly stressed region of weak zone from where the rupture propagation eventually may nucleate as a strong earthquake. Multifractal analysis gave some understanding of the heterogeneity of fractal structure of the seismicity and existence of complex interconnected structure of the Himalayan thrust systems. The present analysis indicates an impending strong earthquake, which might help in better hazard mitigation for the Kumaun Himalaya and its surrounding region.
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