• V K Gahalaut

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Minimum norm inversion of observed ground elevation changes for slips on the causative fault during the 1905 Kangra earthquake

      V K Gahalaut P K Gupta R Chander V K Gaur

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      We estimate the distribution of slip in the dip section of the causative fault for the 1905 Kangra earthquake by applying the minimum norm inversion technique to differences in pre- and post-earthquake levelling data collected along the Saharanpur-Dehradun-Mussoorie highway. For this purpose it is assumed that the causative fault of the 1905 Kangra earthquake was planar with a dip of 5° in the northeast direction and that it had a depth of 6 km at the southern limit of the Outer Himalaya in Dehradun region. The reliably estimated maximum slip on the fault is 7.5 m under the local northern limit of the Outer Himalaya. Using the inverted slip distribution we estimate that the maximum permanent horizontal and vertical displacements at the surface due to the Kangra earthquake were about 4 m and 1.5m respectively. The maximum transient displacements at the surface should have exceeded these permanent displacements. These estimates of maximum slip on the causative fault and the resultant maximum permanent and transient displacements at the surface during the Kangra earthquake may be taken tentatively as being representative of the great Himalayan earthquakes.

    • A simulation of upper crustal stresses for great and moderate thrust earthquakes of the Himalaya

      R Chander V K Gahalaut

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      We assume that great and moderate Himalayan earthquakes occur through reactivation of subhorizontal thrust faults by frictional failure under the action of stresses induced by Himalayan topography, isostasy related buoyancy forces, crustal overburden and plate tectonic causes. Estimates of stresses are based on two dimensional plane strain calculations using analytical formulae of elasticity theory and rock mechanics under suitable simplifying assumptions. Considerable attention is focussed on a point on the detachment at a depth of 17 km below mean sea level under the surface trace of the Main Central Thrust (MCT). According to recent views, great Himalayan earthquakes should nucleate in the detachment in the vicinity of such a point. Also many moderate earthquakes occur on the detachment similarly under the MCT. Vertical and horizontal normal stresses of 622 and 262 MPa and a corresponding shear stress of 26 MPa are estimated for this point due to topography, buoyancy and overburden. For fault friction coefficient varying between 0.3 to 1.0, estimates of plate tectonic stress required are in the range of 386 to 434 MPa, when the cumulative principal stresses are oriented favourably for reactivation of the detachment. Estimates of shear stress mobilized at the same point would be from 27 to 32 MPa for the identical range of fault friction coefficient. Our calculations suggest that presence of pore water in the fault zones is essential for reactivation. Pore pressure required is between 535 to 595 MPa for friction coefficient in the range of 0.3 to 1.0 and it is less than lithostatic stress of 603 MPa at the above point. For the specific nominal value of 0.65 for fault friction coefficient, the estimated values of plate tectonic stress, shear stress and pore pressure at the above point on the detachment are 410 MPa, 30 MPa and 580 MPa respectively. Similar estimates are obtained also for shallower points on the detachment up to the southern limit of the Outer Himalaya. Our estimates of the plate tectonic stress, shear stress and pore pressure for reactivation of upper crustal thrust faults compare favourably with those quoted in the literature.

    • The 2007 Bengkulu earthquake, its rupture model and implications for seismic hazard

      A Ambikapathy J K Catherine V K Gahalaut M Narsaiah A Bansal P Mahesh

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      The 12 September 2007 great Bengkulu earthquake ($M_w$ 8.4) occurred on the west coast of Sumatra about 130 km SW of Bengkulu. The earthquake was followed by two strong aftershocks of $M_w$ 7.9 and 7.0. We estimate coseismic offsets due to the mainshock, derived from near-field Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements from nine continuous SuGAr sites operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) group. Using a forward modelling approach, we estimated slip distribution on the causative rupture of the 2007 Bengkulu earthquake and found two patches of large slip, one located north of the mainshock epicenter and the other, under the Pagai Islands. Both patches of large slip on the rupture occurred under the island belt and shallow water. Thus, despite its great magnitude, this earthquake did not generate a major tsunami. Further, we suggest that the occurrence of great earthquakes in the subduction zone on either side of the Siberut Island region, might have led to the increase in static stress in the region, where the last great earthquake occurred in 1797 and where there is evidence of strain accumulation.

    • Slab detachment of subducted Indo-Australian plate beneath Sunda arc, Indonesia

      Bhaskar Kundu V K Gahalaut

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      Necking, tearing, slab detachment and subsequently slab loss complicate the subduction zone processes and slab architecture. Based on evidences which include patterns of seismicity, seismic tomography and geochemistry of arc volcanoes, we have identified a horizontal slab tear in the subducted Indo-Australian slab beneath the Sunda arc. It strongly reflects on trench migration, and causes along-strike variations in vertical motion and geochemically distinct subduction-related arc magmatism. We also propose a model for the geodynamic evolution of slab detachment.

    • No evidence for shallow shear motion on the Mat Fault, a prominent strike slip fault in the Indo-Burmese wedge

      R P Tiwari V K Gahalaut Ch U B Rao C Lalsawta B Kundu Malsawmtluanga

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      The motion between India and Sunda plates is accommodated along the Churachandpur Mao Fault (CMF) in the Indo-Burmese Wedge (IBW) and Sagaing Fault in the Myanmar region. Within the IBW, the Mat Fault is the most prominent transverse structure with prominent topographic and geomorphic expressions. We undertook Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements across this fault to investigate the current deformation across it. Modelling of these observations using locking depth of up to 4 km yields no resolvable slip (dextral slip rate as 0±5 mm/year) across the fault. Due to limited spatial extent of the GPS measurements, it is not possible to comment on the status of deeper slip, if any.

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