The 2015 Gorkha earthquake and its aftershocks caused severe damage mostly in Nepal, while countries around the Himalayan region were warned for decades about large Himalayan earthquakes and the seismic vulnerability of these countries. However, the magnitude of the Gorkha earthquake was smaller than those of historical earthquakes in Nepal, and the most severe damage occurred in the north and northeast of Kathmandu. We explore reasons for these unexpected features by performing a joint source inversion of teleseismic, geodetic, and near-field waveform datasets to investigate the rupture process. Results indicate that the source fault was limited to the northern part of central Nepal and did not reach the Main Frontal Thrust. The zone of large slip was located in the north of Kathmandu, and the fault rupture propagated eastward with an almost constant velocity. Changes in the Coulomb failure function (ΔCFF) due to the Gorkha earthquake were computed, indicating that southern and western regions neighboring the source fault are potential source regions for future earthquakes related to the Gorkha earthquake. These two regions may correspond to the historical earthquakes of 1866 and 1344. Possible future earthquakes in the regions are predicted, and the warning for Himalayan seismic hazards remains high even after the Gorkha earthquake.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science