Journal of Seismology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

Locations and magnitudes of earthquakes in Central Asia from seismic intensity data

  • D. Bindi
  • S. Parolai
  • A. Gómez-Capera
  • M. Locati
  • Z. Kalmetyeva
  • N. Mikhailova
Original Article

Abstract

We apply the Bakun and Wentworth (Bull Seism Soc Am 87:1502–1521, 1997) method to determine the location and magnitude of earthquakes occurred in Central Asia using MSK-64 intensity assignments. The attenuation model previously derived and validated by Bindi et al. (Geophys J Int, 2013) is used to analyse 21 earthquakes that occurred over the period 1885–1964, and the estimated locations and magnitudes are compared to values available in literature. Bootstrap analyses are performed to estimate the confidence intervals of the intensity magnitudes, as well as to quantify the location uncertainty. The analyses of seven significant earthquakes for the hazard assessment are presented in detail, including three large historical earthquakes that struck the northern Tien-Shan between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries: the 1887, M 7.3 Verny, the 1889, M 8.3 Chilik and the 1911, M 8.2 Kemin earthquakes. Regarding the 1911, Kemin earthquake the magnitude values estimated from intensity data are lower (i.e. MILH = 7.8 and MIW = 7.6 considering surface wave and moment magnitude, respectively) than the value M = 8.2 listed in the considered catalog. These values are more in agreement with the value M S = 7.8 revised by Abe and Noguchi (Phys Earth Planet In, 33:1–11, 1983b) for the surface wave magnitude. For the Kemin earthquake, the distribution of the bootstrap solutions for the intensity centre reveal two minima, indicating that the distribution of intensity assignments do not constrain a unique solution. This is in agreement with the complex source rupture history of the Kemin earthquake, which involved several fault segments with different strike orientations, dipping angles and focal mechanisms (e.g. Delvaux et al. in Russ Geol Geophys 42:1167–1177, 2001; Arrowsmith et al. in Eos Trans Am Geophys Union 86(52), 2005). Two possible locations for the intensity centre are obtained. The first is located on the easternmost sub-faults (i.e. the Aksu and Chon-Aksu segments), where most of the seismic moment was released (Arrowsmith et al. in Eos Trans Am Geophys Union 86(52), 2005). The second location is located on the westernmost sub-faults (i.e. the Dzhil'-Aryk segment), close to the intensity centre location obtained for the 1938, M 6.9 Chu-Kemin earthquake (MILH = 6.9 and MIW = 6.8).

Keywords

Intensity data Historical earthquake Central Asia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank S. Hough, an anonymous reviewer and the associate editor for their comments that led to an improvement of the paper. This work has been carried out in the framework of the project EMCA-Earthquake Model Central Asia, and supported by the Global Change Observatory-Central Asia initiative of the GFZ. Kevin Fleming kindly revised our English.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Bindi
    • 1
  • S. Parolai
    • 1
  • A. Gómez-Capera
    • 2
  • M. Locati
    • 2
  • Z. Kalmetyeva
    • 3
  • N. Mikhailova
    • 4
  1. 1.Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Center for Early WarningPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Central Asian Institute for Applied GeosciencesBishkekKyrgyzstan
  4. 4.Institute of Geophysical Researches of the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of KazakhstanAlmatyKazakhstan

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