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| Last Updated:06/07/2020

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J&K to get seismic station network

 The Hindu, New Delhi, 23 Mar, 2015


To assess areas prone to large earthquakes          


A massive network of seismic stations, accelerometers and GPS instruments is being established in the Jammu and Kashmir region to assess areas more prone to severe earthquakes.


The work is being done by scientists of the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute under a project sanctioned by the Union Earth Sciences Ministry.


Vineet Gahalaut, principal investigator of the project and seismologist, told The Hindu that the region had not experienced a major earthquake (of more than magnitude of 8 on the Richter scale) for the past 400 years. However, great earthquakes had shaken the rest of the Himalayan belt as in Bihar-Nepal in 1934 and in Assam in 1950.


Also the Kashmir part behaves differently from the rest of the Himalayan arc in regard to small and moderate earthquakes.


Excluding Kashmir, these tremors occur close to the higher Himalayas in a linear pattern, Mr. Gahalaut said. “We don’t see small earthquakes in Kashmir. Is it a good or bad sign? We want to study this.” He said evidence of strain accumulation had been building up in the Kashmir region because of the convergence of the Indian and the Eurasian plates. A great earthquake was likely in Kashmir because of the energy accumulation and the project taken up by NGRI was aimed at understanding “which region is more likely to be hit by a great earthquake.”


D. Srinagesh, Head of Seismological Observatory at NGRI, said the data were scanty from Jammu and Kashmir. He said a detailed investigation was required to assess seismic hazard scenarios in the Kashmir Himalayas. The scientists would conduct paleo-seismic studies to look into past major earthquakes in that region and take up a detailed investigation of geological, geodetic, gravity and seismological studies to answer some of the fundamental issues relating to earthquake genesis and hazards in the north-west part of the Himalayas.


Mr. Gahalaut said the setting up of the entire network was expected to be completed by this year end.