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Srīnagar, India

Ahmad B.,Sri Pratap School | Sana H.,Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur | Alam A.,University Of Kashmir
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Kashmir has a long written history of 5000 years, which provides a sketchy picture of historical earthquakes. In all, we collated details of 16 earthquakes from the historical scribes. Most of the earthquakes had their epicenters outside the Kashmir Valley. The exceptions (earthquakes with epicenters within the valley), however, caused severe damage to life and properties and were associated with ground ruptures and long periods of aftershocks. Among them, only the 1885 event is adequately described. We have analyzed environmental effects of this destructive earthquake which occurred in the northwestern Kashmir Himalaya along Pir Panjal range in the early morning (5.00a.m) of 30 May, 1885. Using archival sources followed by field work, the present attempt envisages applying the Environmental Seismic Intensity scale (ESI 2007) for a macroseismic intensity assessment of the 1885 Baramulla Earthquake. Inferences (primary and secondary) reveal that the 1885 Baramulla earthquake local intensity would have been VI-X on the ESI scale. Baramulla, the macroseismic epicenter of the earthquake, must have witnessed epicentral intensity of X on ESI scale. The intensity must have been variable, severe at Baramulla and less at Srinagar, because of the severity of damage decreased from NW to SE. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Ahmad B.,Sri Pratap School | Shafi M.,University Of Kashmir
Journal of Seismology | Year: 2014

Kashmir has the peculiarity of having written history of almost 5,000 years. However, the description of earthquakes in the archival contents is patchy prior to 1500 a.d. Moreover, recent search shows that there exist certain time gaps in the catalogs presently in use especially at medieval level (1128-1586 a.d.). The presence of different ruling elites in association with socioeconomic and political conditions has in many ways confused the historical context of the medieval sources. However, by a meticulous review of the Sanskrit sources (between the twelfth and sixteenth century), it has been possible to identify unspecified but fair number (eight seismic events) of earthquakes that do not exist in published catalogs of Kashmir or whose dates are very difficult to establish. Moreover, historical sources reveal that except for events which occurred during Sultan Skinder's rule (1389-1413) and during the reign of King Zain-ul-Abidin (1420-1470), all the rediscovered seismic events went into oblivion, due mainly to the fact that the sources available dedicated their interests to the military events, which often tended to overshadow/superimpose over and even concealed natural events like earthquakes, resulting in fragmentary accounts and rendering them of little value for macroseismic intensity evaluation necessary for more efficient seismic hazard assessment. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Ahmad S.,University Of Kashmir | Alam A.,University Of Kashmir | Ahmad B.,Sri Pratap School | Bhat M.I.,University Of Kashmir | Sultan Bhat M.,University Of Kashmir
Geomorphology | Year: 2015

The Balapur fault (BF) is a high angle thrust fault (reverse), dipping ~. 60° NE, with an established length of ~. 40. km striking NW-SE of the Kashmir basin. However, geomorphic traces suggest that the strike of the BF propagates beyond what has been documented previously. The present investigation aims to identify the unrecognized segment of the BF in the SW of the Kashmir basin using hypsometric variability in longitudinal profiles (knickpoints/zones), followed by validation through stream gradient index (. SL) calculations of the rivers draining the area. The longitudinal profiles of all the streams indicate prominent and consistent anomalies in the upper and mid-reaches even on the coarse resolution data (Survey of India topographic maps - 1:50,000/40. m, DEM-SRTM 90. m). The profile anomalies in the upper reaches (hard rock zone) of the streams may be attributed to lithological contacts, i.e., Panjal trap agglomeratic slate-shale-limestone. However, the river profile convex segments and course deflection specifically in the mid-reaches (soft rock zone) are most likely associated with recent tectonic activity. Geomorphic signatures suggest that these anomalies coincide with the strike of the recognized segment of the BF. Moreover, the SL values of each stream express a clear agreement with the anomalies shown by the long profiles of the rivers. Hence, we infer that the strike of the BF extends for a significant distance (~. 95. km) over the northeastern flank of the Pir Panjal range in the NW-SE direction. © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Alam A.,University Of Kashmir | Ahmad S.,University Of Kashmir | Sultan Bhat M.,University Of Kashmir | Ahmad B.,Sri Pratap School
Geomorphology | Year: 2015

This research article provides added evidence in support of the already presented tectonic evolution model of the Kashmir basin by Alam et al. (2015), which states that the local dextral strike-slip structure, embedded with the southern forefront thrust system (MBT/MCT), resulted in the development of the NNW-SSE-oriented elliptical pull-apart sedimentary trough (Kashmir basin). Simultaneously, we respond to the argument of Shah (2015), wherein the author expresses his concern about the tectonic evolution model proposed by Alam et al. (2015). The commentator (Shah, 2015)-merely based on assumptions (1: perfectly planar geometry of the central Kashmir fault-CKF; 2: pure strike-slip along the CKF) and misinterpretations of the data (tectonic, geologic, structural, seismic, geodetic, and geomorphic)-makes extraneous criticism throughout the length of his commentary by referring copied text/figures. However, Alam et al. (2015) projected the CKF as noticeably curvilinear major exhibiting complex strike-slip tectonics (dextral, lateral, and vertical motion). Moreover, contradictory to the claim of Shah (2015), the tectonic, geologic, structural, seismic, geodetic, and geomorphic data is in complete agreement with the model proposed by Alam et al. (2015). Hence, in addition to complimentary evidence for the dextral strike-slip, pull-apart evolution of the Kashmir basin, a detailed response is provided to the commentary of Shah (2015). © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Alam A.,University Of Kashmir | Ahmad S.,University Of Kashmir | Bhat M.S.,University Of Kashmir | Ahmad B.,Sri Pratap School
Geomorphology | Year: 2015

Geomorphology has long been recognised as a key to evaluate the interplay between tectonics and landscape geometry in the regions of active deformation. We use geomorphic signatures at varied spatial scales interpreted from SRTM-DEM/Landsat-ETM data, supplemented with field observations to review the tectonic evolution of Kashmir basin in northwest Himalayas. Geomorphic evidence is persuasive of a credible NNW-SSE trending dextral strike-slip structure (central Kashmir Fault - CKF), with the strike length of ~. 165. km, stretched centrally over the NNW-SSE length of the Kashmir basin. As a result of the strike-slip motion and subsequent erosion, significant deformation has taken place along the CKF. In addition, broad geomorphic architecture of the basin reveals typical pull-apart characteristics. Hence, we deduce that the Kashmir basin has evolved as a pull-apart Quaternary sediment depression owing to the deformation along the central Kashmir Fault. The spatial distribution pattern of seismic events (NEIC-catalogue, 1973-2013) and GPS measurements (published), collectively substantiate our geomorphic interpretations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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