Geodynamic and Seismotectonic Activity in Eastern Tibet in the 21st Century
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At the beginning of the 21st century, a series of great earthquakes were recorded in northeastern Tibet, along the periphery of the Bayan Hara lithospheric block. An earthquake with MS = 8.1 occurred within the East Kunlun fault zone in the Kunlun Mountains, which caused an extended surface rupture with left-lateral strike slip. An earthquake with MS = 8 occurred in Wenchuan (China) on May 12, 2008, giving rise to an extended overthrust along the Lunmanshan fault zone. An earthquake with MS = 7.1 occurred in Yushu (China) on April 14, 2010; its epicenter was on the Grazze–Yushu–Funchuoshan fault; a left-lateral strikeslip offset was observed on the surface. An earthquake with MS = 7 occurred in the vicinity of Lushan on April 20, 2013; its epicenter was within the Lunmanshan fault zone, 103 km southwest of the zone of the catastrophic Wenchuan earthquake. An earthquake with MS = 8.2 occurred in Nepal on April 25, 2015. Based on the CSN seismic catalog, the energy of all earthquakes in eastern Tibet at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries was estimated. It was found that Tibet was seismically quiet from 1980 to 2000. The beginning of the 21st century has been marked by seismic activation with earthquake sources migrating southward to surround the Bayan Hara lithospheric block from every quarter. Therefore, this block can be regarded as one of the most seismically active regions of China.
KeywordsBayan Hara block Himalayas northeastern Tibet epicenter earthquake migration seismic rupture
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