POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

Earthquakes in Himalaya bigger than in Alps

Staff Writer |
Earthquakes that happen in densely populated mountainous regions, such as the Himalaya, spell bigger earthquakes because of a fast tectonic-plate collision, according to a new study in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Article continues below






Researchers from Geophysical Fluid Dynamics - ETH Zürich in Switzerland, say their findings give people a more complete view of the risk of earthquakes in mountainous regions.

The new study shows that the frequency and magnitude of large earthquakes in the densely populated regions close to mountain chains - such as the Alps, Apennines, Himalaya and Zagros - depend on the collision rate of the smaller tectonic plates.

In 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Gorkha-Nepal, and a year later, Norcia, Italy suffered a magnitude 6.2 earthquake. Previous research has attempted to explain the physical causes of earthquakes like these, but with ambiguous results.

For the first time, the new study shows that the rate at which tectonic plates collide controls the magnitude of earthquakes in mountainous regions.

"The impact of large earthquakes in mountain belts is devastating," commented Luca Dal Zilio, lead author of the study from Geophysical Fluid Dynamics - ETH Zürich.

"Understanding the physical parameters behind the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes is important to improve the seismic hazard assessment.

"By combining classical earthquake statistics and newly developed numerical models, our contribution addresses a crucial aspect of the seismic hazard, providing an intuitive physical explanation for a global-scale problem.

"Our scientific contribution can help the society to develop a more complete view of earthquake hazard in one of the most densely populated seismic zones of the world and ultimately take action accordingly."

There are seven large tectonic plates and several smaller ones in the earth's lithosphere - its outermost layers. These plates move, sliding and colliding, and that movement causes mountains and volcanoes to form, and earthquakes to happen.

The researchers developed 2D models that simulate the way the tectonic plates move and collide. The seismo-thermo-mechanical (STM) modelling approach utilises long-time scale processes to explain short time scale problems namely replicate the results observed from the historical earthquake catalogues.

Also, it shows graphically the distribution of earthquakes by their magnitude and frequency that are caused by movement in the orogeny - a belt of the earth's crust involved in the formation of mountains.

The simulations suggest that the magnitude and frequency of the earthquakes in mountainous regions are directly related to the rate at which the tectonic plates collide.

The researchers say this is because the faster they collide, the cooler the temperatures and the larger the areas that generate earthquakes. This increases the relative number of large earthquakes.

The team confirmed the link by comparing earthquakes recorded in four mountain ranges: the Alps, Apennines and Himalaya and Zagros.

Their results imply that the plate collisions in the Alps are more ductile than those in the Himalaya, reducing the hazard of earthquakes.


What to read next

Earth rotation slows: Upsurge in big earthquakes predicted for 2018
More than 6,400 earthquakes in Mexico this year
Earthquakes in Colorado and New Mexico linked to oil and gas fluid injections

Heavy rainfall along U.S. eastern seaboard; dangerous heat wave shifting

 
A weak front with tropical moisture will be quasi-stationary over parts of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast through Sunday.
 
 

Latest

U.S. drillers cut oil and gas rigs to 584
Attorney General Ken Paxton stops Biden’s ban on liquified natural gas exports
Germany to cut Huawei, ZTE parts in 5G network from 2026
Ericsson Q2 sales down but North America up

NEWS

U.S.: Dangerous heatwave

Severe thunderstorms across portions of U.S. Central Plains and Mississippi Valley; heat continues in Southern Plains
New Delhi airport roof collapses under heavy rain
Bulgaria: EPPO charges entrepreneur with fraud involving construction of dairy facility
Switzerland: Gotthard Base Tunnel on track to fully re-open in September
Heavy rain with flooding possible in southwest U.S. and upper Midwest; heat continues in east
 

BUSINESS

Scotland secured record inward investment in 2023

Chinese seaport cities register soaring output of port economy in 2023
U.S. bankruptcies in June hit record high since 2020
Baker Hughes U.S. oil rig count unchanged at 479
EU-Kenya trade agreement comes into effect
U.S. drillers cut oil and gas rigs to 581
 

Trending Now

Attorney General Ken Paxton stops Biden’s ban on liquified natural gas exports

Heavy rainfall along U.S. eastern seaboard; dangerous heat wave shifting

Canada and Alberta supporting Alberta Beef Producers

EU allocates €77 million in emergency support to farmers in Austria, Czechia, Poland and Portugal


POLITICS

North Macedonia to take 500 million euros loan from Hungary

Under Secretary Fernandez travels to Japan and Indonesia
€10.82 billion French State aid scheme to support offshore wind energy
EU approves Lufthansa Group-ITA Airways deal, subject to conditions
Europe imposes duties on Chinese electric vehicles
Australia and New Zealand to fund critical undersea cable infrastructure for Tonga
 

Today We Recommend

U.S. bankruptcies in June hit record high since 2020


Highlights 

Ericsson Q2 sales down but North America up

North Macedonia to take 500 million euros loan from Hungary

BYD to build factory in Türkiye


COMPANIES

APM Terminals Suape advances sustainable port operations with major investment in all-electric handling equipment

BYD to build factory in Türkiye
U.S. awards Moderna $176 mln for vaccine development amid bird flu outbreak
Robertshaw to close Trnava, Slovakia plant, plant assets available for sale
DOF Group to acquire Maersk Supply Service for $1.11 billion
CureVac sells COVID-19, flu vaccines to GSK amid restructuring
 

CAREERS

Africa Finance Corporation appoints executive director, financial services

Lindemann Metal Recycling: Markus Tandel named head of procurement and aftermarket
Travis Leonard joins Lockton as CFO
African Development Bank appoints director of statistics department
Azentio expands its leadership team with two new appointments
Afreximbank announces board changes
 

ECONOMY

Eurozone reports modest Q1 GDP growth, stable annual inflation

Italy sees faster economic growth in Q1
Slovenia's economy expected to grow 0.9 pct in Q1
Italy faces deficit infringement procedure
Real GDP increased in all 50 U.S. states
Inflation continues to decline in Germany
 

EARNINGS

Lockton revenue $3.55 billion

Motorcar Parts of America Q4 sales $189.5 million
Limoneira Q2 revenue $44.6 million
Lululemon athletica Q1 revenue increased 10% to $2.2 billion
PVH Q1 GAAP EBIT $205 million
Dollar General Q1 operating profit decreased 26.3%
 

OP-ED

Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?
 

AGRIFISH

Canada and Alberta supporting Alberta Beef Producers

EU allocates €77 million in emergency support to farmers in Austria, Czechia, Poland and Portugal
Brazil opened its market for Australian mutton and lamb
Hong Kong suspends import of poultry meat and products from areas in Australia and U.S.
World's first: Denmark to impose CO2 tax on livestock
Finland to start bird flu vaccinations for humans, in world first
 

LEADERSHIP

Study finds workers misjudge wage markets

Some organizations may need to expand their hierarchical structures earlier than others
Study finds there's right way and wrong way to deliver negative feedback in workplace
Allyship is critical and its needs appreciation
Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success
Hiring 'problem directors' can knock up to 64% off firm's value
 

CRIME

Italy issues $6.4 million fine over Chinese cars badged as Italian

EU Commission fines Mondelēz €337.5 million for cross-border trade restrictions
HSBC pays penalties for alleged breaches of Consumer Data Right rules
Sanofi to settle thousands of Zantac cancer lawsuits
Former asset manager and board member of Geneva private bank referred to Swiss Federal Criminal Court
South Africa: SAP ordered to pay SIU $26m over 'invalid' Eskom contracts
 

Magazine

TRAVEL

Radisson Hotel Group debuts in the heart of Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis

Morocco’s first Radisson branded hotel opens in Casablanca
Buna channels, an unreal and beautiful part of Bosnia and Herzegovina
JW Marriott unveils Mindful Haven with opening of JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi
Sotheby's Sports Week returns with fantastic artifacts
Red Roof properties open in Michigan
 

SEA, LAND, AIR

Citroën C3 Aircross, the most affordable compact SUV with 7 seats

2025 Chevrolet Equinox stands apart with fresh looks and capability
Hill Helicopters HX50, luxury in the sky
Opel Movano becomes fully equipped camper van
Porsche Panamera, new hybrid variants
Dodge Charger, 670 horsepower of electric
 

DESIGN

Cold night, hot fire pit, cool entertainment

Embellish your home with PVC panels
You'll have to hurry if you want one of 20 new Louis Vuitton watches
Luxury duvet looks good, fells good and keeps you healthy
Vacheron Constantin, watches for life and more
Schüller kitchens, where functionality marries design
 

GADGETS

MESA/Boogie Celebrates 40-year partnership with John Petrucci

reMarkable 2, monochrome tablet for your thoughts and your eyes
OnePlus Ace 3V, first with Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3
ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra, flagship with a reason
Samsung Galaxy S24 is photography powerhouse
Casette tapes are making a big comeback, and so are portable players
 

HEALTH

New Alzheimer's treatment approved by FDA

UK introduced new pregnancy prevention measures for topiramate (Topamax)
UK: People with HIV can now donate eggs or sperm to start family
EU health watchdog urges vaccinations to stem surge in Whooping Cough cases
Brazil resumes insulin production after two decades
India launches first home-grown gene therapy for cancer
 

MEANTIME

India to build first phase of its own space station by 2028

Roscosmos chief approves schedule of creating Russian orbital station through 2033
Potentially habitable 'exo-Venus' with Earth-like temperature discovered
Rare species of wild bees discovered in Berlin
SLAC completes construction of largest digital camera ever built for astronomy
Solar eclipse next week in U.S., Mexico and Canada