Over 100 years of faults interaction, stress accumulation, and creeping implications, on Chaman Fault System, Pakistan

  • Muhammad Shahid RiazEmail author
  • Shan Bin
  • Shahid Naeem
  • Wang Kai
  • Zujun Xie
  • Syed Mushhad M. Gilani
  • Umer Ashraf
Original Paper


The curve-shaped Chaman transform fault between Pakistan and Afghanistan demarks the western boundary of the Indian plate, which is the locus of many catastrophic earthquakes, and this is poorly studied region to understand the earthquake/fault interaction and hazard assessment. Based on earthquake triggering theory, we investigate a sequence of earthquakes comprising five earthquakes that occurred in the Chaman Fault System since 1892. Our results elucidate that three out of four earthquakes are triggered by the preceding earthquakes. The 1935 earthquake of magnitude Mw 7.7 is somewhat an independent earthquake in this sequence, slightly influenced by the 1892 event. The 1935 earthquake significantly loaded either terminus of its rupture with positive stress, which later triggered the 1975 earthquake with 35% of its rupture length where ΔCFS is above triggering threshold value, and 1990 earthquake with 44% of its rupture length in positive stress lobe, on Ghazaband Fault, in the south lobe. Since the 1935 earthquake significantly increased the ΔCFS on either terminus of its rupture, the 2013 earthquake with magnitude Mw 7.7 occurred on Hoshab Fault in the positive stress zone with 23% of its rupture length where ΔCFS is positive. Moreover, the northern locked segment of CF, the southern segment of GBF, southeastern segment of HF and PAF demonstrate a high value of ΔCFS. It could trigger seismicity in these regions, thus requiring arrangements to mitigate any seismic hazards in future.


Chaman Fault System Earthquake triggering Fault interaction Coulomb stress Seismic hazard assessment 



This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. Y311141014). Figures were prepared using the Generic Mapping Tools (Wessel and Smith, 1998). Muhammad Shahid Riaz is deeply thankful to CAS-TWAS President’s scholarship program for providing research fellowship. We thank the Editor in Chief, Prof. Wolf-Christian Dullo, IJES, Topic Editor, David McNamara, and anonymous reviewer(s) who helped us to improve the quality of this research work.

Supplementary material

531_2019_1710_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 2101 kb)


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Copyright information

© Geologische Vereinigung e.V. (GV) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s DynamicsInstitute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Geophysics and GeomaticsChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  4. 4.Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Centre for Earthquake Studies, NCPIslamabadPakistan
  6. 6.University Institute of Information Technology (UIIT), PMAS-Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan

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