Gorkha earthquake (M(W)7.8) and aftershock sequence: A fractal approach

Tiwari, Ram Krishna ✉; Paudyal, Harihar

English Article (Journal Article) Scientific
Published: EARTHQUAKE SCIENCE 1674-4519 35 (3) pp. 193-204 2022
  • SJR Scopus - Geology: Q4
  • Earth and related Environmental sciences
On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by the M(W)7.8 Gorkha earthquake followed by an intense aftershock sequence. It was one of the most destructive earthquakes in the Himalayan arc, causing more than 8900 fatalities. In this study, we analyzed the dataset (429 events, magnitude of completeness (M-c) >= 4.2 local magnitude) of the first 45 days after the Gorkha earthquake to estimate the seismicity parameters b-value, D-value, and p-value. We used the maximum likelihood method to estimate the b-value and Omori-Utsu parameters, whereas the correlation integral method was applied to estimate the fractal dimension (D-value). The analysis was carried out using running and sliding window techniques. The lowest b-value (0.57 +/- 0.04) and the highest D-value (1.65 +/- 0.02) were computed at the time of the Gorkha earthquake, after which the b-value significantly increased to a maximum of 1.57. It again dropped to 0.93 at the time of the major aftershock on May 12, 2015. The D-value showed an initial quick drop and then decreased in a wavy pattern until the end of the study period, indicating the clustering and scattering of earthquakes in a fault region. The b-value contour map identified the eastern part of the study area as a high stress region (b = similar to 0.8), implying that the stress shifted to that region. The D-value contour map reveals that the seismogenic structure shifted from linear to planar in the region. The rate of aftershock decay (p = 0.86 +/- 0.04) for a short period reflects that the level of stress decreased rapidly. This study helps to understand the level of stress and seismicity pattern of a region, which could be useful for aftershock studies.
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2023-06-09 23:33