Advertisement

Seismicity Variations in the Makran Region of Pakistan and Iran: Relation to Great Earthquakes

  • Richard C. Quittmeyer
Part of the Contributions to Current Research in Geophysics book series (CCRG)

Abstract

Teleseismic activity in the Makran region of southeastern Iran and southwestern Pakistan prior to the great earthquake (M8 = 8) of 1945 can be characterized in terms of two stages. First, during the period 30 (or more) to 10 years prior to the main event, the frequency of occurrence of moderate to large earthquakes was relatively high in the region between the impending rupture zone and the volcanic arc to the northwest. These events probably occurred near the down-dip limit of seismic activity within the subducted slab. Second, activity was concentrated along the coast during the ten years immediately preceding the great earthquake and most of this activity was confined to the vicinity of the epicenter of the 1945 earthquake. These patterns are similar in some respects to those observed prior to some large earthquakes in other parts of the world.

Recent seismicity in the region west of that affected prior to 1945 suggests that this western region may be the site of the next large earthquake. Events along the coast are grouped at both ends of a seismically quiet zone, producing a distribution similar to the ‘donut’ pattern identified by Mogi. In addition, one moderate-magnitude earthquake occurred within the subducted slab to the northwest of the donut pattern along the coast. This moderate-magnitude earthquake, the first to occur in the region immediately west of the 1945 rupture zone since the advent of instrumental recording, may be analogous to the activity of stage one associated with the 1945 earthquake. While by no means providing conclusive evidence of an impending earthquake, the characteristic patterns identified in the recent seismicity indicate that this region should be closely monitored in the future.

Key words

Earthquake prediction Seismic gaps Tectonics Iran Tectonics Pakistan 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bakr, M. A., and Jackson, R. O. (1964), Geologic Map of Pakistan, 1:2,000,000, Geological Survey of Pakistan, Karachi.Google Scholar
  2. Berberiān, M. (1976), Contribution to the Seismotectonics of Iran, Geol. Sur. Iran Report No. 39,515 p.Google Scholar
  3. Bolt, B. (1960), The revision of earthquake epicenters, focal depths and origin-times using a highspeed computer, Geophys. J. Roy. astr. Soc. 3, 433–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bulletin of the International Seismological Centre for 1964–1975, Edinburgh, Scotland.Google Scholar
  5. Caputo, M., Keilis-Borok, V., Gasperini, P., Marcelli, L., and Rotwain, I. (1978), Earthquake swarms as forerunners of strong earthquakes in Italy, EOS, Transactions, Am. Geophys. Union 59, 330 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  6. Evison, F. F. (1977), The precursory earthquake swarm, Phys. Earth Planet. Interiors 15, P19–P23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Farhoudi, G., and Karig, D. E. (1977), Makran of Iran and Pakistan as an active arc system, Geology 5, 664–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gansser, A. (1971), The Taftan Volcano (SE Iran), Eclogae geol. Helv. 64, 319–334.Google Scholar
  9. Geller, R., and Kanamori, H. (1977), Magnitudes of great shallow earthquakes from1904 to 1952, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am. 67, 587–598.Google Scholar
  10. Girod, M., and Conrad, G. (1975), Les Formations Volcaniques récontes du Sud de l’Iran (Kouh-e-Shahsavaran): données pétrologiques préliminaires; implications structurales, Bull. Volcano-logique 39, 495–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gutenberg, B., and Richter, C. F. (1954), Seismicity of the Earth and Associated Phenomena, (Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N.J.), 273 p.Google Scholar
  12. Habermann, R. E., and Wyss, R. (1977), Seismicity patterns before five major earthquakes, Transactions, Am. Geophys. Union (EOS) 58, 1194, Abstract.Google Scholar
  13. Habermann, R. E., and Wyss, M. (1979), Seismicity patterns before five major earthquakes, submitted to Bull. Seis. Soc. Am.Google Scholar
  14. International Seismological Summary- 1945, (Kew Observatory, Richmond, Surrey 1954), 422 p.Google Scholar
  15. Isacks, B., and Molnar, P. (1969), Mantle earthquake mechanisms and the sinking of the lithosphère, Nature 223, no. 5211, 1121–1124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jacob, K. H., and Quittmeyer, R. C. (1979), The Makran region of Pakistan and Iran: Trench-arc system with active plate subduction, In: Geodynamics of Pakistan (eds. A. Farah and K. DeJong), Spec. Publ. Geol. Survey Pakistan, Quetta, (305–317).Google Scholar
  17. Kelleher, J., and Savino, J. (1975), Distribution of seismicity before large strike slip and thrust type earthquakes, Jour. Geophy. Res. 80, 260–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCann, W. R., Nishenko, S. P., Sykes, L. R., and Krause, J. (1978), Seismic gaps and plate tectonics: Seismic potential for major plate boundaries, In: Proc. of Conference VI: Methodology for Identifying Seismic Gaps and Soon-to-Break Gaps, USGS Open-File Report 78–943, 441–584.Google Scholar
  19. Mogi, K. (1969), Some features of recent seismic activity in and near Japan, 2, Activity before and after great earthquakes, Bull. Earthquake Res. Inst. Tokyo Univ. 47, 395–417.Google Scholar
  20. Mogi, K. (1973), Relationship between shallow and deep seismicity in the western Pacific region, Tectonophys. 17, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ohtake, M., Matumoto, T., and Latham, G. V. (1977), Seismicity gap near Oaxaca, southern Mexico as a probable precursor to a large earthquake, Pure Appl. Geophys. 115, 375–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Oldham, T. (1882), A catalogue of Indian earthquakes from the earliest time to the end of A.D. 1869, Mem. of the Geol. Sur. of India 19, part 3, 163–215.Google Scholar
  23. Page, W. D., Anttonen, G., and Savage, W. U. (1978), The Makran coast of Iran, a Possible Seismic Gap, In: Proc. of Conference VI: Methodology for Identifying Seismic- Gaps and Soon-to-Break Gaps, USGS Open File Report 78–943, 611–634.Google Scholar
  24. Quittmeyer, R. C., and Jacob, K. H. (1979), Historical and modern seismicity of Pakistan, Afghanistan, northwestern India and southwestern Iran, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am. 69, no. 3 in press.Google Scholar
  25. Rothé, J. P. (1969), The Seismicity of the Earth, 1953–1965, UNESCO, Paris, 336 p.Google Scholar
  26. Seismic Records at DeBilt, (1942–1966, 1969), Koninklijk Nederlandsch Meterologisch Instituut, DeBilt, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  27. Seismische Registrierungen in DeBilt, (1914–1941), Nederlandsch Meterologisch Instituut, DeBilt, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  28. Shimazaki, K. (1976), Intra-plate seismicity and inter-plate earthquakes: historical activity in southwest Japan, Tectonophysics 33, 33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shimazaki, K. (1978), Correlation between intraplate seismicity and interplate earthquakes in Tohoku, northeast Japan, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am. 68, 181–192.Google Scholar
  30. Stoneley, R. L. (1974), ‘Evolution of the continental margins bounding a former southern Tethys,’ In: The Geology of Continental Margins, (C. A. Burk and C. L. Drake, eds.) Springer-Verlag, New York, 889–903.Google Scholar
  31. White, R. S., and Klitgord, K. (1976), Sediment deformation and plate tectonics in the Gulf of Oman, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 32, 199–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard C. Quittmeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and DepartmentGeological Sciences of Columbia UniversityPalisadesUSA

Personalised recommendations