Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 167, Issue 11, pp 1331–1342 | Cite as

Probabilistic Assessment of Earthquake Recurrence in Northeast India and Adjoining Regions

  • Ram Bichar Singh YadavEmail author
  • Jayant Nath Tripathi
  • Bal Krishna Rastogi
  • Mridul Chandra Das
  • Sumer Chopra


Northeast India and adjoining regions (20°–32° N and 87°–100° E) are highly vulnerable to earthquake hazard in the Indian sub-continent, which fall under seismic zones V, IV and III in the seismic zoning map of India with magnitudes M exceeding 8, 7 and 6, respectively. It has experienced two devastating earthquakes, namely, the Shillong Plateau earthquake of June 12, 1897 (M w 8.1) and the Assam earthquake of August 15, 1950 (M w 8.5) that caused huge loss of lives and property in the Indian sub-continent. In the present study, the probabilities of the occurrences of earthquakes with magnitude M ≥ 7.0 during a specified interval of time has been estimated on the basis of three probabilistic models, namely, Weibull, Gamma and Lognormal, with the help of the earthquake catalogue spanning the period 1846 to 1995. The method of maximum likelihood has been used to estimate the earthquake hazard parameters. The logarithmic probability of likelihood function (ln L) is estimated and used to compare the suitability of models and it was found that the Gamma model fits best with the actual data. The sample mean interval of occurrence of such earthquakes is estimated as 7.82 years in the northeast India region and the expected mean values for Weibull, Gamma and Lognormal distributions are estimated as 7.837, 7.820 and 8.269 years, respectively. The estimated cumulative probability for an earthquake M ≥ 7.0 reaches 0.8 after about 15–16 (2010–2011) years and 0.9 after about 18–20 (2013–2015) years from the occurrence of the last earthquake (1995) in the region. The estimated conditional probability also reaches 0.8 to 0.9 after about 13–17 (2008–2012) years in the considered region for an earthquake M ≥ 7.0 when the elapsed time is zero years. However, the conditional probability reaches 0.8 to 0.9 after about 9–13 (2018–2022) years for earthquake M ≥ 7.0 when the elapsed time is 14 years (i.e. 2009).


Probabilistic models cumulative probability conditional probability earthquake hazard 



The authors are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Science, Government of India for providing financial support. The authors would like to express their gratitude to Dr. A. Kijko, Editor PAGEOPH and two anonymous reviewers for their generous comments and thorough review of this manuscript, which has improved the quality significantly.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser / Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ram Bichar Singh Yadav
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Jayant Nath Tripathi
    • 2
  • Bal Krishna Rastogi
    • 1
  • Mridul Chandra Das
    • 3
  • Sumer Chopra
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Seismological Research (ISR)GujaratIndia
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  3. 3.Shiv-Vani Oil and Gas Exploration LtdAgartalaIndia
  4. 4.Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Ministry of Earth Science, Government of IndiaOcean ValleyHyderabadIndia

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