Interseismic strain accumulation on the Himalayan crustal ramp (Nepal)

M. R. Pandey, R. P. Tandukar, J. P. Avouac, J. Lavé, J. P. Massot

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375 Citations (Scopus)


The Departement of Mines and Geology has been monitoring the seismicity of the Central Himalayas of Nepal since 1985. Intense microseismicity and frequent medium‐size earthquakes (mL<4) tend to cluster beneath the topographic front of the Higher Himalaya. This 10–20km deep seismicity also correlates with a zone of localized uplift that has been evidenced from geodetic data. Both microseismic and geodetic data indicate strain accumulation on a mid‐crustal ramp that had been previously inferred from geological and geophysical evidence. This ramp connects a flat decollement under the Lesser and Sub‐Himalaya with a deeper decollement under the Higher Himalaya, and probably acts as a geometric asperity where strain and stress build up during the interseismic period. The large Himalayan earthquakes could nucleate there and probably activate the whole flat‐and‐ramp system up to the blind thrusts of the Sub‐Himalaya.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-754
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 1995


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