Natural Hazards

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 145–167 | Cite as

Probabilities for the occurrences of medium to large earthquakes in northeast India and adjoining region

  • R. B. S. YadavEmail author
  • J. N. Tripathi
  • D. Shanker
  • B. K. Rastogi
  • M. C. Das
  • Vikas Kumar
Original Paper


The return periods and occurrence probabilities related to medium and large earthquakes (M w 4.0–7.0) in four seismic zones in northeast India and adjoining region (20°–32°N and 87°–100°E) have been estimated with the help of well-known extreme value theory using three methods given by Gumbel (1958), Knopoff and Kagan (1977) and Bury (1999). In the present analysis, the return periods, the most probable maximum magnitude in a specified time period and probabilities of occurrences of earthquakes of magnitude M ≥ 4.0 have been computed using a homogeneous and complete earthquake catalogue prepared for the period between 1897 and 2007. The analysis indicates that the most probable largest annual earthquakes are close to 4.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.5 and 5.8 in the four seismic zones, namely, the Shillong Plateau Zone, the Eastern Syntaxis Zone, the Himalayan Thrusts Zone, the Arakan-Yoma subduction zone and the whole region, respectively. The most probable largest earthquakes that may occur within different time periods have been also estimated and reported. The study reveals that the estimated mean return periods for the earthquake of magnitude M w 6.5 are about 6–7 years, 9–10 years, 59–78 years, 72–115 years and 88–127 years in the whole region, the Arakan-Yoma subduction zone, the Himalayan Thrusts Zone, the Shillong Plateau Zone and the Eastern Syntaxis Zone, respectively. The study indicates that Arakan-Yoma subduction zone has the lowest mean return periods and high occurrence probability for the same earthquake magnitude in comparison to the other zones. The differences in the hazard parameters from zone to zone reveal the high crustal heterogeneity and seismotectonics complexity in northeast India and adjoining regions.


Extreme value theory Seismic hazard Earthquake probability Return periods 



We are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Science, Government of India for providing financial support. First author is thankful to the Director, INCOIS and HoD, ASG, INCOIS for their support. Sumer Chopra and A. P. Singh helped in preparation of the manuscript. We acknowledge thoughtful comments and suggestions by Editor-In-Chief Dr. Thomas Glade and anonymous reviewers which enhanced the quality of manuscript significantly.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. S. Yadav
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • J. N. Tripathi
    • 3
  • D. Shanker
    • 4
  • B. K. Rastogi
    • 1
  • M. C. Das
    • 5
  • Vikas Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Seismological Research (ISR)GandhinagarIndia
  2. 2.Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)Ministry of Earth Science, Government of IndiaHyderabadIndia
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  4. 4.Department of Earthquake EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  5. 5.Shiv-Vani Oil and Gas Exploration LtdAgartalaIndia

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