, Volume 99, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 265-278
Date: 03 Dec 2009

Magnetic fabrics indicating Late Quaternary seismicity in the Himalayan foothills

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Abstract

The anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) study was performed on soft sediment samples from a trenched fault zone across the Himalayan frontal thrust (HFT), western Himalaya. AMS orientation of K min axes in the trench sediments is consistent with lateral shortening revealed by geometry of deformed regional structures and recent earthquakes. Well-defined vertical magnetic foliation parallel to the flexure cleavage in which a vertical magnetic lineation is developed, high anisotropy, and triaxial ellipsoids suggest large overprinting of earthquake-related fabrics. The AMS data suggest a gradual variation from layer parallel shortening (LPS) at a distance from the fault trace to a simple shear fabric close to the fault trace. An abrupt change in the shortening direction (K min) from NE–SW to E–W suggests a juxtaposition of pre-existing layer parallel shortening fabric, and bending-related flexure associated with an earthquake. Hence the orientation pattern of magnetic susceptibility axes helps in identifying co-seismic structures in Late Holocene surface sediments.