The HiCLIMB broadband passive seismic experiment (2002-2005) operated 233 sites along a 800-km long north-south array extending from the Himalayan foreland into the Central Tibetan Plateau and a flanking 350x350 km lateral array in southern Tibet and eastern Nepal. We use data from the experiment’s second phase (June 2004 to August 2005), when stations operated in Tibet, to locate earthquakes in south-central Tibet, a region with no permanent seismic network where little is known about its seismicity. We used the Antelope software for automatic detection and arrival time picking, event-arrival association and event location. Requiring a low detection and event association threshold initially resulted in ~110,000 declared events. The large database size rendered manual inspection unfeasible and we developed automated post-processing modules to weed out spurious detections and erroneous phase and event associations, which stemmed, e.g., from multiple coincident earthquakes within the array or misplaced seismicity from the great 2004 Sumatra earthquake. The resulting database contains ~32,000 events within 5° distance from the closest station. We consider ~7,600 events defined by more than 30 P and S arrivals well located and discuss them here. Seismicity in the subset correlates well with mapped faults and structures seen on satellite imagery attesting to high location quality. This is confirmed by non-systematic, kilometer-scale differences between automatic and manual locations for selected events. Seismicity in south-central Tibet is intense north of the Yarlung-Tsangpo Suture. Almost 90% of events occurred in the Lhasa Terrane mainly along north-south trending rifts. Vigorous activity (>4,800 events) accompanied two M>6 earthquakes in the Payang Basin (84°E), ~100 km west of the linear array. The Tangra-Yum Co (86.5°E) and Pumqu-Xianza (88°E) rifts were very active (~1,000 events) without dominant main shocks indicating swarm like-behavior possibly related to shallow magmatic or geothermal activity. Seismicity in the Qiangtang Terrane accounts for less than 10% of activity; seismicity is distributed and, except for the Yibuk-Caka Rift (87°E), difficult to associate with known structures. Lower seismicity may be apparent and simply reflect a larger distance to the array. Fewer than 5% of events occurred south of the Yarlong Tsangpo Suture in the Tethyan Himalaya, the only region where in addition to shallow seismicity a significant number of deep (mantle) events was located. Hypocenter depth, particularly for shallow events, is usually not well constrained due to array geometry and large distances to closest sites. The nature of deep events inside the array, though, is resolved.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2010
- 7230 SEISMOLOGY / Seismicity and tectonics;
- 8110 TECTONOPHYSICS / Continental tectonics: general;
- 8123 TECTONOPHYSICS / Dynamics: seismotectonics;
- 9320 GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION / Asia