Journal of Seismology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 789–803 | Cite as

A study of Guptkashi, Uttarakhand earthquake of 6 February 2017 (M w 5.3) in the Himalayan arc and implications for ground motion estimation

  • Davuluri Srinagesh
  • Shri Krishna SinghEmail author
  • Gaddale Suresh
  • Dakuri Srinivas
  • Xyoli Pérez-Campos
  • Gudapati Suresh


The 2017 Guptkashi earthquake occurred in a segment of the Himalayan arc with high potential for a strong earthquake in the near future. In this context, a careful analysis of the earthquake is important as it may shed light on source and ground motion characteristics during future earthquakes. Using the earthquake recording on a single broadband strong-motion seismograph installed at the epicenter, we estimate the earthquake’s location (30.546° N, 79.063° E), depth (H = 19 km), the seismic moment (M0 = 1.12×1017 Nm, M w 5.3), the focal mechanism (φ = 280°, δ = 14°, λ = 84°), the source radius (a = 1.3 km), and the static stress drop (Δσ s ~22 MPa). The event occurred just above the Main Himalayan Thrust. S-wave spectra of the earthquake at hard sites in the arc are well approximated (assuming ω−2 source model) by attenuation parameters Q(f) = 500f0.9, κ = 0.04 s, and fmax = infinite, and a stress drop of Δσ = 70 MPa. Observed and computed peak ground motions, using stochastic method along with parameters inferred from spectral analysis, agree well with each other. These attenuation parameters are also reasonable for the observed spectra and/or peak ground motion parameters in the arc at distances ≤ 200 km during five other earthquakes in the region (4.6 ≤ M w  ≤ 6.9). The estimated stress drop of the six events ranges from 20 to 120 MPa. Our analysis suggests that attenuation parameters given above may be used for ground motion estimation at hard sites in the Himalayan arc via the stochastic method.


Guptkashi 2017 earthquake Uttarkhand 2017 earthquake Himalayan arc Ground motion 



We thank the reviewers for their helpful critical remarks. Stations RPG, TKT, ALM, HDR, and TDR form part of the Central Indo-Gangetic Plains Network (CIGN) of the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad. All other stations belong to National Centre for Seismology. CIGN instrumentation was acquired under the SATREPS-DISANET Indo-Japanese Collaborative Project.

Funding information

The study was partly supported by the CSIR-NGRI Fast Track Translationary Project and UNAM, PAPIIT project IN107216 (S.K.S.)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIR-National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de GeofísicaCircuito de la Investigación s/n, Ciudad UniversitariaMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.National Centre for SeismologyNoidaIndia

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