Assessment of seismic hazard inUttarakhand Himalaya
Prabhat Kumar, Ashwini Kumar and Amita Sinvhal
Department of Earthquake Engineering, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee, India
– For a state like Uttarakhand, which is located in the seismically active Himalayan regionand in the vicinity of plate boundaries, estimation of seismic hazards and the preparation of a zoningmap are an urgent necessity. This paper aims to focus on this hazard.
– In total, 32 potential seismo-tectonic source zones wereidentiﬁed in a very wide area in and around the state, on the basis of seismicity and tectonics, andthe longer ones were segmented. The maximum magnitude that each seismo-tectonic source zone cansupport was then estimated. The seismic hazard due to each seismo-tectonic source zone was assessedat 180 sites, in terms of peak ground acceleration (PGA).
– The maximum PGA at each site varied between 0.06
. The seismic hazard washighest around the main central thrust and the main boundary thrust, and ﬁve other thrusts betweenthese two thrusts. This assessment was adapted to make a seismic zoning map of Uttarakhand, withﬁve distinct zones.
– If seismo-tectonic source zones from the contiguous regionsof Nepal and Tibet were included as part of this assessment, then a higher hazard would be expected inUttarakhand.
– Threat perceptions of a potential earthquake disaster can be assessed inthis zoning map. Disaster mitigation strategies will vary geographically, with priorities deﬁned by thezoning map presented here. The methodology evolved has the potential to be extended to othervulnerable states in the Himalayan arc.
– The seismic hazard assessed has been adapted to formulate a seismic zoningmap of Uttarakhand.
Himalayas, Seismicity, Tectonics, Uttarakhand, Hazards, Zoning map, Natural disasters,Earthquakes
The Indian subcontinent is a seismically active part of the world. Major seismicactivity in India is concentrated along the geologically young and seismo-tectonicallyactive Himalayan arc due to the ongoing continent-continent collision between theIndian and Eurasian plates. As part of the Alpine Himalayan seismic belt this arc hasexperienced four great earthquakes, i.e. earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 8,within 53 years. No great earthquake has occurred within the Himalayan arc since1950, i.e. in the last 60 years, and such an earthquake could occur any time soon.The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand lies in the region between epicenters of twogreat earthquakes, namely the Kangra (1905) and Bihar Nepal earthquakes (1934). Thisseismic gap (Khattri, 1987) has not experienced a major earthquake during a timeinterval when most other segments of the gap have ruptured. Seismic gaps aresupposed to have a high future earthquake potential. Therefore, there is an urgent needto assess seismic hazard and have a detailed zoning map of the state. Seismic hazard
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Assessment of seismic hazard
Disaster Prevention and ManagementVol. 20 No. 5, 2011pp. 531-542
Emerald Group Publishing Limited0965-3562DOI 10.1108/09653561111178961