We analyze the Mw7.6 Kashmir earthquake of October 8, 2005, using sub-pixel correlation of ASTER images to measure ground deformation, and modeling seismic waveforms. The surface rupture is continuous over a distance of 75 km and cuts across the Hazara syntaxis reactivating the Tanda and the Muzaffarabad faults. North of Muzaffarabad the surface rupture coincides approximately with the MBT, on the southwestern flank of the syntaxis, although the two faults have opposite dip angles. The rupture terminates abruptly at the hairpin turn of the MBT showing a strong structural control. The fault offset is 4 m on average and peaks to 7 m northwest of Muzaffarabad. The rupture lasted about 25 s and propagated updip and bi-laterally by ∼ 2 km/s, with a rise time of 2-5 s. The shallowness and compactness of the rupture, both in time and space, provide an explanation for the intensity of destructions. This kind of analysis could be achieved as soon as a post-earthquake image is available, and would provide key information for early assessment of damages. The study sheds some light on seismic hazard in the Himalaya, and raises concern regarding the possibility of a repetition of the 1555 event which presumably ruptured the Himalayan front south of the Kashmir basin and may have reached a magnitude Mw > 8.
- coseismic deformation
- Kashmir Earthquakes