Source characteristics of the 18 September 2011 Sikkim earthquake and zoning

Rajesh Prakash, Ravi Kant Singh, Gaddale Suresh, Jia Lal Gautam, Sanjay Kumar Prajapati, Hari Narain Srivastava


Using detailed waveform analysis of Pn, sPn depth phases from the nearby seismic stations, attempts were made to resolve the focal depth of the 2011 Sikkim earthquake. Focal depth of 46.8 km thus determined was found closer to the GCMT source mechanism solution as compared to ISC solution (29.6 km). Re-examination of its source mechanism with the spatial/ depth distribution of its aftershocks sug- gested that both the nodal planes oriented WNW or ENE, initially ruptured but the orientation of meizoseismal area and larger concen- tration of its aftershocks parallel to the Tista lineament conformed WNW striking nodal plane relatively more active. The large value of the stress drop derived from S-wave spectra based on the data of Indian stations was attributed to its strike-slip mechanism and deeper focal depth. The stress drop of its foreshock was much lower than that the main shock. The b-value also showed a decrease during the last decade prior to the main earthquake.The recent Sikkim earthquake (Mw 6.9) has brought out the limitations of the microzoning of the Sikkim region attempted earlier.


Sikkim earthquake 2011, stress drop, precursory observations, zoning

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X