Updated Historic Seismicity: Nepal, Himalayas (3 data sets)

I have added one more polygon data set to the three main data sets that include records of historic earthquake slip patches. The three data sets now include Bilham (2004), Bettinelli et al (2006), and Berryman et al. (2009). I left the Rajendran and Rajendran (2011) data set off of this map because it is a point data set and the locations do not lie within the polygons from the other studies. While this may not be evidence alone, but the city locations plotted in the Rajendran article are also plotted incorrectly.

    The methods that I used to digitize these data sets involves the following:

  1. step (1) I georeferenced the maps by rubbersheeting them in arcGIS (into a WGS84 lat/long coordinate system). In some cases, I could use lat/long coordinates plotted on the original maps. In other cases I used nation-state boundaries, topographic landforms, and coastal shorelines. These maps are all probably within tens of kms of being in the correct location.
  2. step (2) I screen digitized the polygons as plotted in the referenced articles.


  • Bilham, R., Gaur, V.K., Molnar, P., 2001. Himalayan Seismic Hazard, Science, v. 293, p/ 1,442-1,444.
  • Bilham, R., 2004. Earthquakes in India and the Himalaya: tectonics, geodesy and history, Annals of Geophysics, v. 42, no. 2/3, p. 839-858.
  • Bettinelli, P., Avouac, J-P., Flouzat, M., Jouanne, F., Bollinger, L., Willis, P., and Chikitrar, G.R., 2006. Plate motion of India and interseismic strain in the Nepal Himalaya from GPS and DORIS measurements, Journal of Geodesy, v. 80, p. 567-589
  • Berryman, K., Ries, W., Litchfield, N. (2014) The Himalayan Frontal Thrust: Attributes for seismic hazard Version 1.0, December 2014, GEM Faulted Earth Project, available from http://www.nexus.globalquakemodel.org/.
  • Rajendran, K and Rajendran, C.P_., 2011. Revisiting the earthquake sources in the Himalaya: Perspectives on past seismicity, Tectonophysics, v. 504, p. 75-78.

9 thoughts on “Updated Historic Seismicity: Nepal, Himalayas (3 data sets)

  1. Is it just me or is it not odd that napel and calbuco is on the same grid line. It seems to me there is allot of procuring activity on that belt. Both more activity then has been recorded in 40 and 80 years. I thought that was an interesting fact.

  2. the plates are converging at about 45 mm/yr. when an earthquake ruptures a segment of the subduction zone, it briefly loads adjacent segments of the subduction zone. so, there may be earthquakes along adjacent segments over short periods of time due to this brief loading. or, it may be due simply to chance…

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