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Millenary M_w > 9.0 earthquakes required by geodetic strain in the Himalaya

Stevens, V. L. and Avouac, J.-P. (2016) Millenary M_w > 9.0 earthquakes required by geodetic strain in the Himalaya. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (3). pp. 1118-1123. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1002/2015GL067336.

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The Himalayan arc produced the largest known continental earthquake, the M_w ≈ 8.7 Assam earthquake of 1950, but how frequently and where else in the Himalaya such large-magnitude earthquakes occur is not known. Paleoseismic evidence for coseismic ruptures at the front of the Himalaya with 15 to 30 m of slip suggests even larger events in medieval times, but this inference is debated. Here we estimate the frequency and magnitude of the largest earthquake in the Himalaya needed so that the moment released by seismicity balances the deficit of moment derived from measurements of geodetic strain. Assuming one third of the moment buildup is released aseismically and the earthquakes roughly follow a Gutenberg-Richter distribution, we find that M_w > 9.0 events are needed with a confidence level of at least 60% and must return approximately once per 800 years on average.

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Avouac, J.-P.0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2016 American Geophysical Union. Received 8 DEC 2015; Accepted 15 JAN 2016; Accepted article online 22 JAN 2016; Published online 13 FEB 2016. This work was supported by NSF grant 1345136. The earthquake catalog data can be found on the websites indicating within the text and within the supporting information.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
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Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160407-155935752
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Official Citation:Stevens, V. L., and J.-P. Avouac (2016), Millenary Mw > 9.0 earthquakes required by geodetic strain in the Himalaya, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 1118–1123, doi:10.1002/2015GL067336
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66006
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Apr 2016 23:47
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:52

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