Monsoonal rainfall induced shallow earthquake Swarm in the Amravati district of the central India


Sadrabadi and Zilphi villages of Dharni Taluka in Amravati district, Maharashtra, experienced small magnitude earthquakes between September 1, 2018 and December 9, 2018. We deployed a four station temporary network of three component broadband seismographs to understand and characterize the earthquake sequence. We find that the short lived (~2 months) micro-earthquake (M ≤ 2.4) swarm, accompanying rumbling sound, was highly clustered (3×3 km2) and occurred at extremely shallow depth (<0.4 km). Analysis of the data reveal that the earthquake swarm might have been induced by the percolation of monsoonal rainwaters (reaching ~100 mm/day) through the cracked volume of soil/rock, associated with the fault system of the Narmada Son failed rift region. Besides revealing the science of earthquake swarm and characterizing it, the monitoring of earthquake swarm and its analysis contributed significantly in reducing the public panic.


  • We report a case of monsoonal rainfall induced earthquakes from the Narmada Son failed rift region in Amravati district.

  • The earthquake sequence is referred here as an earthquake swarm.

  • The near surface shallow focused micro earthquakes (M≤2.4) occurred in a small region (3×3 km2) immediately after the monsoon of 2018.

  • Monitoring of such sequence is important to declare whether the sequence is a swarm activity that may not lead to the occurrence of a strong earthquake in the region.

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Authors are grateful to the Secretary, MoES for encouragement to take up this study of societal impact. Authors are thankful to DG, Geological Survey of India, and R S Garkhal, ADG, GSI, CHQ for allowing the joint analysis by providing the recorded data by stations established by GSI. We are also thankful to the district administration Amravati, Govt. of Maharashtra for their logistic support and assistance in the field. We thank an anonymous reviewer for very constructive comments. We appreciate encouraging and prompt handling of the manuscript by the editor, Dr. N V Chalapathi Rao. This is joint publication of NCS, GSI and NGRI. CSIR-NGRI publication number NGRI/Lib/2019/Pub-113.

Author information




Monika Wadhawan, Naresh Rana, Vineet Gahalaut, O P Mishra, Akshay Kumar Joshi, A V Kulkarni and Mahendra Singh analysed the earthquake data. A K Das analysed the rainfall data. All authors contributed equally in the manuscript writing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vineet Gahalaut.

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Communicated by N V Chalapathi Rao

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Wadhawan, M., Rana, N., Gahalaut, V. et al. Monsoonal rainfall induced shallow earthquake Swarm in the Amravati district of the central India. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 29 (2021).

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  • Earthquake swarm
  • perceptible earthquake sequence
  • monsoon-induced earthquakes
  • failed rift region