Time-dependent shake map for Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, using recorded earthquakes

  • Himanshu MittalEmail author
  • Yih-Min Wu
  • Ting-Li Lin
  • Cédric P. Legendre
  • Sushil Gupta
  • Benjamin M. Yang
Research Article - Solid Earth Sciences


Uttarakhand Himalayas are highly sensitive to seismic hazard with possible occurrence of high-magnitude earthquakes. Fewer waveforms are available from previously recorded earthquakes, which are insufficient for carrying out seismic hazard studies. The recently installed strong motion instrumentation network (SMIN) in India, particularly, in Indian Himalayas is providing useful data. Using recorded data from SMIN, time-dependent peak ground acceleration and observed peak ground velocity shake maps are drawn for two earthquakes widely recorded by SMIN in Uttarakhand region of Indian Himalayan belt. Open-source Earthworm software with new algorithms is used for drawing these shake maps. The source mechanism is computed for April 4, 2011 earthquake using waveform inversion technique to relate it to the trend of shake maps. The computed focal mechanism shows one of the nodal planes in NW–SE, which are consistent with shake maps for the same earthquake. These time-dependent plotted shake maps provide useful information on the initial rupture, as well as the potential directivity of the rupture.


Shake map PGA PGV Uttarakhand Himalaya Earthworm 



The authors are profusely thankful to the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China for funding the project, under which this study was carried out. The author (HM) is really thankful to Dr. Wei-An Chao for providing his code to estimate focal mechanism. GMT software from Wessel and Smith (1998) is used in the plotting part of the figures and is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Allen RM, Brown H, Hellweg M, Khainovski O, Lombard P, Neuhauser D (2009) Real-time earthquake detection and hazard assessment by ElarmS across California. Geophys Res Lett 36:L00B08. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bilham R (1995) Location and magnitude of the Nepal earthquake and its relation to the rupture zones of the contiguous great Himalayan earthquakes. Curr Sci 69:101–128Google Scholar
  3. BIS, IS, 1893–2002 (Part 1) Indian standard criteria for earthquake resistant design of structures, part 1—general provisions and buildings. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. Boatwright J, Thywissen K, Seekins L (2001) Correlation of ground motion and intensity for the 17 January 1994 Northridge California Earthquake. Bull Seismol Soc Am 91:739–752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borcherdt RD (1970) Effects of local geology on ground motion near San Francisco Bay. Bull Seismol Soc Am 60:29–61Google Scholar
  6. Chao WA, Zhao L, Wu YM (2011) Centroid fault-plane inversion in three-dimensional velocity structure using strong-motion records. Bull Seismol Soc Am 101(3):1330–1340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen DY, Hsiao NC, Wu YM (2015) The Earthworm based earthquake alarm reporting system in Taiwan. Bull Seismol Soc Am 105:568–579. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ekström G, Nettles M, Dziewoński AM (2012) The global CMT project 2004–2010: centroid-moment tensors for 13,017 earthquakes. Phys Earth Planet Inter 200:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frohlich C, Apperson KD (1992) Earthquake focal mechanisms, moment tensors, and the consistency of seismic activity near plate boundaries. Tectonics 11(2):279–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gahalaut K, Rao NP (2009) Stress field in the western Himalaya with special reference to the 8 October 2005 Muzaffarabad earthquake. J Seismol 13:371–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gansser A (1964) Geology of the Himalayas. Interscience, New York, p 289Google Scholar
  12. Gaur VK, Chander R, Sarkar I, Khattri KN, Sinvhal H (1985) Seismicity and state of stress from investigations of local earthquakes in the Kumaun Himalaya. Tectonophysics 118:243–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graves RW (1996) Simulating seismic wave propagation in 3D elastic media using staggered-grid finite differences. Bull Seismol Soc Am 86:1091–1106Google Scholar
  14. Gupta S, Gupta ID (2004) Prediction of earthquake peak ground acceleration in Koyna region, India. 13 WCEE, Vancouver, Canada, Aug 1–6, 2004, paper no. 1437Google Scholar
  15. Gupta S, Kumar S, Wason HR, Das R (2012) A statistical analysis of completeness of earthquake data around Dehradun city and its implications for seismicity evaluation. 15WCEE, Lisbon, Portugal, Sept 24–28, 2012, paper no. 3539Google Scholar
  16. Johnson CE, Bittenbinder A, Bogaert B, Dietz L, Kohler W (1995) Earthworm: a flexible approach to seismic network processing. Inc Res Inst Seismol Newsl 14(4):1–4Google Scholar
  17. Kanaujia J, Kumar A, Gupta SC (2016) Three-dimensional velocity structure around Tehri region of the Garhwal Lesser Himalaya: constraints on geometry of the underthrusting Indian plate. Geophys J Int 205(2):900–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Khattri KN (1999) An evaluation of earthquakes hazard and risk in northern India. Himalayan Geol 20:1–46Google Scholar
  19. Khattri KN, Chander R, Gaur VK, Sarkar I, Kumar S (1989) New seismological results on the tectonics of the Garhwal Himalaya. Proc Indian Acad Sci (Earth Planet Sci) 98:91–109Google Scholar
  20. Kumar N, Khandelwal DD (2015) Strong motion data analysis of the 4 April 2011 Western Nepal earthquake (M 5.7) and its implications to the seismic hazard in the Central Himalaya. Curr Sci 109(10):1822–1830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kumar N, Sharma J, Arora BR, Mukopadhyay S (2009) Seismotectonic model of the Kangra-Chamba sector of Northwest Himalaya: constraints from joint hypocenter determination and focal mechanism. Bull Seismol Soc Am 99:95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kumar A, Mittal H, Sachdeva R, Kumar A (2012) Indian Strong Motion Instrumentation Network. Seismol Res Lett 83(1):59–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Legendre CP, Deschamps F, Zhao L, Chen QF (2015a) Rayleigh-wave dispersion reveals crust-mantle decoupling beneath eastern Tibet. Sci Rep 5:16644. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Legendre CP, Zhao L, Chen QF (2015b) Upper-mantle shear-wave structure under East and Southeast Asia from Automated Multimode Inversion of waveforms. Geophys J Int 203(1):707–719. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Legendre CP, Tseng TL, Mittal H, Hsu CH, Karakhanyan A, Huang BS (2017) Complex wave propagation revealed by peak ground velocity maps in the Caucasus Area. Seismol Res Lett 88(3):812–821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liang X, Zhou S, Chen YJ, Jin G, Xiao L, Liu P, Fu Y, Tang Y, Lou X, Ning J (2008) Earthquake distribution in Southern Tibet and its tectonic implications. J Geophys Res 113:B12409. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mittal H, Kumar A (2015) Stochastic finite-fault modeling of M w 5.4 earthquake along Uttarakhand-Nepal border. Nat Hazards 75(2):1145–1166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mittal H, Gupta S, Srivastava A, Dubey RN, Kumar A (2006) National strong motion instrumentation project: an overview. In: 13th Symposium on earthquake engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Dec 18–20, 2006, 107–115, New Delhi: Elite PublishingGoogle Scholar
  29. Mittal H, Kumar A, Ramhmachhuani R (2012) Indian national strong motion instrumentation network and site characterization of its stations. Int J Geosci 3(6):1151–1167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mittal H, Kumar A, Kumar A (2013a) Site effects estimation in Delhi from the Indian strong motion instrumentation network. Seismol Res Lett 84(1):33–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mittal H, Kamal, Kumar A, Singh SK (2013b) Estimation of site effects in Delhi using standard spectral ratio. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 50:53–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mittal H, Kumar A, Kamal (2013c) Ground motion estimation in Delhi from postulated regional and local earthquakes. J Seismol 17(2):593–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mittal H, Kumar A, Kumar A, Kumar R (2015) Analysis of ground motion in Delhi from earthquakes recorded by strong motion network. Arab J Geosci 8(4):2005–2017CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mittal H, Wu YM, Chen DY, Chao WA (2016a) Stochastic finite modeling of ground motion for March 5, 2012, Mw 4.6 earthquake and scenario greater magnitude earthquake in the proximity of Delhi. Nat Hazards 82(2):1123–1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mittal H, Kumar A, Wu YM, Kumar A (2016b) Source study of M w 5.4 April 4, 2011 India-Nepal border earthquake and scenario events in the Kumaon-Garhwal Region. Arab J Geosci 9(5):348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mittal H, Wu YM, Sharma ML, Yang BM, Gupta S (2018a) Testing the performance of earthquake early warning system in northern India. Acta Geophys 67:59–75. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mittal H, Wu YM, Sharma ML, Lin TL, Yang BM (2018b) Shake maps generation for Delhi region using two different algorithms. In: 16th symposium on earthquake engineering, Indian Instiute of Technology, Roorkee, Dec 20–22Google Scholar
  38. Mozziconacci L, Delouis B, Angelier J, Hu JC, Huang BS (2009) Slip distribution on a thrust fault at a plate boundary: the 2003 Chengkung earthquake, Taiwan. Geophys J Int 177(2):609–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Olivieri M, Clinton J (2012) An almost fair comparison between Earth-worm and Seiscomp3. Seismol Res Lett 83:720–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Olsen KB (1994) Simulation of three-dimensional wave propagation in the Salt Lake Basin. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UtahGoogle Scholar
  41. Seeber L, Armbruster JG (1981) Great detachment earthquakes along the Himalayan arc and long-term forecasting. In: Earthquake prediction: an international review. Maurice Ewing Series 4, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp 259–277Google Scholar
  42. Srivastava P, Mitra G (1994) Thrust geometries and deep structure of the outer and lesser Himalaya, Kumaon and Garhwal (India): implications for evolution of the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt. Tectonics 13(1):89–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Valdiya KS (1980) Geology of Kumaun Lesser Himalaya, interim record: Dehradun. Dehradun, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, p 289Google Scholar
  44. Wald DJ, Quitoriano V, Heaton TH, Kanamori H, Scrivner CW, Worden CB (1999) TriNet “ShakeMaps”: rapid generation of peak ground motion and intensity maps for earthquakes in southern California. Earthq Spectra 15(3):537–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wessel P, Smith WHF (1998) New, improved version of generic mapping tools released. Eos, Trans Am Geophys Union. Google Scholar
  46. Wu YM (2015) Progress on development of an earthquake early warning system using low cost sensors. Pure appl Geophys 172:2343–2351. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wu YM, Hsiao NC, Teng TL (2004) Relationships between strong ground motion peak values and seismic loss during the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan earthquake. Nat Hazards 32:357–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu YM, Chen DY, Lin TL, Hsieh CY, Chin TL, Chang WY, Li WS, Ker SH (2013) A high density seismic network for earthquake early warning in Taiwan based on low cost sensors. Seismol Res Lett 84:1048–1054. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wu YM, Liang WT, Mittal H, Chao WA, Lin CH, Huang BS, Lin CM (2016) Performance of a low-cost earthquake early warning system (P-alert) during the 2016 ML 6.4 Meinong (Taiwan) Earthquake. Seismo Res Lett 87(5):1050–1059. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wu YM, Mittal H, Huang TC, Yang BM, Jan JC, Chen SK (2018) Performance of a low-cost earthquake early warning system (P-alert) and shake map production during the 2018 Mw 6.4 Hualien (Taiwan) Earthquake. Seismol Res Lett (accepted)Google Scholar
  51. Yagi Y, Okuwaki R (2015) Integrated seismic source model of the 2015 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake. Geophys Res Lett 42(15):6229–6235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yang BM, Huang TC, Wu YM (2018) ShakingAlarm: a nontraditional regional earthquake early warning system based on time-dependent anisotropic peak ground-motion attenuation relationships. Bull Seismol Soc Am 108(3A):1219–1230. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zhao L, Chen P, Jordan TH (2006) Strain Green’s tensors, reciprocity and their applications to seismic source and structure studies. Bull Seismol Soc Am 96:1753–1763CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences & Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.NTU Research Center for Future EarthNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Risk Modeling and InsuranceRMSINoidaIndia

Personalised recommendations