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Joint approach combining damage and paleoseismology observations constrains the 1714AD Bhutan earthquake at magnitude 8 +/- 0.5
Univ Lausanne, Inst Earth Sci, UNIL Mouline Geopolis, Lausanne, Switzerland..
Univ Montpellier, Geosci Montpellier, Montpellier, France..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics.
Univ Montpellier, Geosci Montpellier, Montpellier, France..
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2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 20, p. 10695-10702Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The region of Bhutan is thought to be the only segment of the Himalayas not having experienced a major earthquake over the past half millennium. A proposed explanation for this apparent seismic gap is partial accommodation of the India-Asia convergence further south across the Shillong Plateau, yet the seismic behavior of the Himalayan megathrust in Bhutan is unknown. Here we present historical documents from the region reporting on an earthquake in 1714A.D. and geological evidence of surface rupture to constrain the latest large event in this area. We compute various earthquake scenarios using empirical scaling relationships relating magnitude with intensity, source location and rupture geometry. Our results constrain the 1714A.D. earthquake to have ruptured the megathrust in Bhutan, most likely during a M7.5-8.5 event. This finding reclassifies the apparent seismic gap to a former information gap and implies that the entire Himalayan arc has a high level of earthquake potential.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 43, no 20, p. 10695-10702
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-311220DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071033ISI: 000388293800044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-311220DiVA, id: diva2:1059630
Available from: 2016-12-22 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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