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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Seasonal modulation of deep slow-slip and earthquakes on the Main Himalayan Thrust.

  • Author(s): Panda, Dibyashakti
  • Kundu, Bhaskar
  • Gahalaut, Vineet K
  • Bürgmann, Roland
  • Jha, Birendra
  • Asaithambi, Renuhaa
  • Yadav, Rajeev Kumar
  • Vissa, Naresh Krishna
  • Bansal, Amit Kumar
  • et al.

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The interaction between seasonally-induced non-tectonic and tectonic deformation along the Himalayan plate boundary remains debated. Here, we propose that tectonic deformation along this plate boundary can be significantly influenced by the deformation induced by the non-tectonic hydrological loading cycles. We explore seasonal mass oscillations by continental water storage in Southeast Asia and Himalayan arc region using continuous Global Positioning System measurements and satellite data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. We suggest that the substantially higher transient displacements above the base of the seismogenic zone indicate a role of changes in aseismic slip rate on the deep megathrust that may be controlled by seasonal hydrological loading. We invoke modulation of aseismic slip on the megathrust down-dip of the seismogenic zone due to a fault resonance process induced by the seasonal stress changes. This process modulates mid-crustal ramp associated micro-seismicity and influences the timing of Central Himalayan earthquakes.

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