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Seasonal variations of seismicity and geodetic strain in the Himalaya induced by surface hydrology

Bettinelli, Pierre and Avouac, Jean-Philippe and Flouzat, Mireille and Bollinger, Laurent and Ramillien, Guillaume and Rajaure, Sudhir and Sapkota, Som (2008) Seasonal variations of seismicity and geodetic strain in the Himalaya induced by surface hydrology. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 266 (3-4). pp. 332-344. ISSN 0012-821X. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101112-154501489

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Abstract

One way to probe earthquake nucleation processes and the relation between stress buildup and seismicity is to analyze the sensitivity of seismicity to stress perturbations. Here, we report evidence for seasonal strain and stress (~ 2–4 kPa) variations in the Nepal Himalaya, induced by water storage variations which correlate with seasonal variations of seismicity. The seismicity rate is twice as high in the winter as in the summer, and correlates with stress rate variations. We infer ~ 10–20 kPa/yr interseismic stress buildup within the seismicity cluster along the high Himalaya front. Given that Earth tides exert little influence on Himalayan seismicity, the correlated seasonal variation of stress and seismicity indicates that the duration of earthquake nucleation in the Himalaya is of the order of days to month, placing constraints on faults friction laws. The unusual sensitivity of seismicity to small stress changes in the Himalaya might be due to high pore pressure at seismogenic depth.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2007.11.021DOIUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2007 Elsevier. Received 11 July 2007; revised 9 November 2007; accepted 11 November 2007. Editor: C.P. Jaupart. Available online 22 November 2007. We are grateful to M.R. Pandey and all our collaborators, at NSC and DMG, and DASE at CEA, for their dedicated effort, which permitted the deployment, maintenance, and operation of the Nepal seismic network and the CGPS stations. This study has benefited from discussions with Hugo Perfettini, Jean-Paul Ampuero, Rodolphe Cattin, and Frederic Perrier, and from insightful reviews by Roland Burgman and Roger Bilham. Elisabeth Nadin is thanked for her help in editing this manuscript.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Caltech Tectonics Observatory. Indo-Asian Collision Zone
Subject Keywords:seismology; geodesy; tectonics; hydrology; Himalaya
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Caltech Tectonics Observatory75
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101112-154501489
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101112-154501489
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20788
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Nov 2010 02:53
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 12:38

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