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Geological Sciences

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GPS measurements in Kashmir Himalaya reveal rangenormal convergence of 11±1 mm/yr with dextral shear of 5±1 mm/yr. The transition from a fully locked 170 km wide décollement to the unrestrained descending Indian plate occurs at ~25 km depth over an ~23 km wide transition zone. The convergence rate is consistent with the lower bounds of geological estimates for the Main Frontal Thrust, Riasi, and Balapora fault systems, on which no surface slip has been reported in the past millennium. Of the 14 damaging Kashmir earthquakes since 1123, none may have exceeded Mw = 7.6. Therefore, either a seismic moment deficit equivalent to a Mw ≈ 8.7 earthquake exists or the historical earthquake magnitudes have been underestimated. Alternatively, these earthquakes have occurred on reverse faults in the Kashmir Valley, and the décollement has been recently inactive. Although this can reconcile the inferred and theoretical moment release, it is quantitatively inconsistent with observed fault slip in Kashmir.


Geophysical Research Letters


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