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Seismogenic Potential of the Main Himalayan Thrust Constrained by Coupling Segmentation and Earthquake Scaling

Michel, Sylvain and Jolivet, Romain and Rollins, Chris and Jara, Jorge and Dal Zilio, Luca (2021) Seismogenic Potential of the Main Himalayan Thrust Constrained by Coupling Segmentation and Earthquake Scaling. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (13). Art. No. e2021GL093106. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2021gl093106.

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Recent studies have shown that the Himalayan region is under the threat of earthquakes of magnitude nine or larger. These estimates are based on comparisons of the geodetically inferred moment deficit rate with the seismicity of the region. However, these studies did not account for the physics of fault slip, specifically the influence of frictional barriers on earthquake rupture dynamics, which controls the extent and therefore the magnitude of large earthquakes. Here we combine an improved probabilistic estimate of moment deficit rate with results from dynamic models of the earthquake cycle to more fully assess the seismogenic potential of the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT). We propose a straightforward and efficient methodology for incorporating outcomes of physics-based earthquake cycle models into hazard estimates. We show that, accounting for uncertainties on the moment deficit rate, seismicity and earthquake physics, the MHT is prone to rupturing in M_W 8.7 earthquakes every T > 200 years.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Michel, Sylvain0000-0001-7878-6603
Jolivet, Romain0000-0002-9896-3651
Rollins, Chris0000-0002-5291-6956
Jara, Jorge0000-0003-3176-0689
Dal Zilio, Luca0000-0002-5642-0894
Additional Information:© 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Issue Online: 03 July 2021; Version of Record online: 03 July 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 19 June 2021; Manuscript accepted: 08 June 2021; Manuscript revised: 26 May 2021; Manuscript received: 05 March 2021. This study has been funded by the Center National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) postdoctoral fellowship. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (project Geo-4D, grant agreement 758210). Romain Jolivet acknowledges funding from the Institut Universitaire de France. The study complies with FAIR Data standards. We use the instrumental seismicity catalog from the ANSS Comprehensive Earthquake Catalog (ComCat) ( We thank the two anonymous reviewers for insightful comments which helped improve the study. Data Availability Statement: The historical seismicity data is available through Bilham, 2019. The coupling model data is available through Dal Zilio et al. (2020).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)758210
Institut Universitaire de France (IUF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:seismic hazard; Main Himalayan Thrust; maximum magnitude earthquake; physics-based earthquake cycle models; frictional barriers
Issue or Number:13
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210629-192402563
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Michel, S., Jolivet, R., Rollins, C., Jara, J., & Dal Zilio, L. (2021). Seismogenic potential of the Main Himalayan Thrust constrained by coupling segmentation and earthquake scaling. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL093106.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109648
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 22:42
Last Modified:08 Jul 2021 21:02

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