Active faulting in apparently stable peninsular India: rift inversion and a Holocene-age great earthquake on the Tapti Fault
Copley, Alexander Charles
Sloan, R Alastair
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
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Copley, A. C., Mitra, S., Sloan, R. A., Gaonkar, S., & Reynolds, K. (2014). Active faulting in apparently stable peninsular India: rift inversion and a Holocene-age great earthquake on the Tapti Fault. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 119
We present observations of active faulting within peninsular India, far from the surrounding plate boundaries. Offset alluvial fan surfaces indicate one or more magnitude 7.6–8.4 thrust-faulting earthquakes on the Tapti Fault (Maharashtra, western India) during the Holocene. The high ratio of fault displacement to length on the alluvial fan offsets implies high stress-drop faulting, as has been observed elsewhere in the peninsula. The along-strike extent of the fan offsets is similar to the thickness of the seismogenic layer, suggesting a roughly equidimensional fault rupture. The subsiding footwall of the fault is likely to have been responsible for altering the continental-scale drainage pattern in central India, and creating the large west-flowing catchment of the Tapti river. A pre-existing sedimentary basin in the uplifting hangingwall implies the Tapti Fault was active as a normal fault during the Mesozoic and has been reactivated as a thrust, highlighting the role of pre-existing structures in determining the rheology and deformation of the lithosphere. The slip sense of faults and earthquakes in India suggests that deformation south of the Ganges foreland basin is driven by the compressive force transmitted between India and the Tibetan Plateau. The along-strike continuation of faulting to the east of the Holocene ruptures we have studied represents a significant seismic hazard in central India.
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