Original Paper

International Journal of Earth Sciences

, Volume 99, Supplement 1, pp 265-278

First online:

Magnetic fabrics indicating Late Quaternary seismicity in the Himalayan foothills

  • R. JayangondaperumalAffiliated withWadia Institute of Himalayan Geology
  • , Ashok Kumar DubeyAffiliated withWadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Email author 
  • , B. Senthil KumarAffiliated withIndian Institute of Sciences
  • , S. G. WesnouskyAffiliated withCenter for Neotectonic Studies, University of Nevada
  • , S. J. SangodeAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, University of Pune

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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.


Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) Earthquake fabric Himalaya Paleoseismicity