Interseismic coupling on the main Himalayan thrust

V. L. Stevens, J. P. Avouac

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244 Citations (Scopus)


We determine the slip rate and pattern of interseismic coupling on the Main Himalayan Thrust along the entire Himalayan arc based on a compilation of geodetic, interferometric synthetic aperture radar, and microseismicity data. We show that convergence is perpendicular to the arc and increases eastwards from 13.3 ± 1.7 mm/yr to 21.2 ± 2.0 mm/yr. These rates are comparable to geological and geomorphic estimates, indicating an essentially elastic geodetic surface strain. The interseismic uplift rate predicted from the coupling model closely mimics the topography, suggesting that a small percentage of the interseismic strain is permanent. We find that the fault is fully locked along its complete length over about 100 km width. We don't find any resolvable aseismic barrier that could affect the seismic segmentation of the arc and limit the along-strike propagation of seismic ruptures. The moment deficit builds up at a rate of 15.1 ± 1 × 1019 N m/yr for the entire length of the Himalaya.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5828-5837
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Jul 2015


  • GPS
  • Himalaya
  • interseismic coupling
  • seismic hazard
  • tectonics


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