New approaches for seismic hazard studies in the Indian subcontinent

by Imtiyaz A. Parvez

Earthquakes constitute among the most feared natural hazards and these occur with no warning which can result in great destruction and loss of lives, particularly in developing countries. One way to mitigate the destructive impact of such earthquakes is to conduct a seismic hazard assessment and take remedial measures. This article aims at demonstrating significant contributions in the field of seismic zonation and microzonation studies in the Indian subcontinent. The contributions in the field of earthquake hazard have been very valuable and beneficial not only for science but also for society.

The historical seismicity and seismic zonation studies as well as the present scenario of seismic hazard assessment in the Indian subcontinent, whether through probabilistic or deterministic approaches, are discussed. It has been found that many parts of the Himalayan region have peak acceleration values exceeding 0.6g. The epicentral areas of the great Assam earthquakes of 1897 and 1950 in northeast India represent the maximum hazard with acceleration values reaching 1.2–1.3g. The peak velocity and displacement in the same region is estimated as 120–177 cm s−1 and 60–90 cm, respectively. To mitigate seismic risk, it is necessary to define a correct response in terms of both peak ground acceleration and spectral amplification. These factors are highly dependent on local soil conditions and on the source characteristics of the expected earthquakes. This article will also present the findings of site-specific hazard assessment in megacities.


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