Natural Hazards

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 867–883 | Cite as

Estimation of the source parameters of the Nepal earthquake from strong motion data

  • A. Joshi
  • Monu TomerEmail author
  • Sohan Lal
  • Sumer Chopra
  • Sandeep Singh
  • Sanjay Prajapati
  • M. L. Sharma
  • Sandeep
Original Research Paper


Kathmandu and its surrounding region were rocked recently by a devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015. This is the largest earthquake that has occurred in this region since the past eight decades. This earthquake was recorded on strong motion stations located about 470–522 km away from its epicenter. Records of accelerographs from these stations have been used to determine the location of this earthquake using hypo71 algorithm given by Lee and Lehr (HYPO71, a computer program for determining hypocenter, magnitude and first motion pattern of local earthquakes. US Geological Survey Open file report, 100, 1975). The recorded accelerograms have been corrected for site effects using site amplification curve obtained from ambient seismic noise recorded at each station. Site effect has been computed using H/V ratio method given by Nakamura (Q Rep RTRI 30(1):25–33, 1989) using ambient noise data. The corrected record is further used to obtain source displacement spectra. The source spectrum obtained from strong motion data is compared with theoretical source spectrum obtained from Brune’s (J Geophys Res 75:4997–5009, 1970) model for the horizontal components. The long-term flat level and corner frequency from source displacement spectra are used to calculate stress drop, source radius and seismic moment of this earthquake. The present study indicates that the Nepal earthquake originated 12.0 km below the epicenter located at 27.93°N, 84.70°E. The source radius, stress drop and seismic moment of this earthquake estimated from source displacement spectra are 44.13 ± 3.85 km, 18.68 ± 5.93 bars and 3.53 ± 0.28 × 1027 dyne cm, respectively.


Strong motion Himalaya Spectrum Site effect 



The authors are sincerely thankful to the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, for supporting the research reported in this paper. Strong motion data recorded by the network of accelerographs installed in the Kumaun region under the major research project sponsored by Ministry of Earth Sciences and another network operated by Department of Earthquake Engineering under Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India-funded project, were used in this work. The work presented in this paper is an outcome of the sponsored project from the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, Grant No. MoES-800-ESD/2014.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Joshi
    • 1
  • Monu Tomer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sohan Lal
    • 1
  • Sumer Chopra
    • 2
  • Sandeep Singh
    • 1
  • Sanjay Prajapati
    • 2
  • M. L. Sharma
    • 3
  • Sandeep
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Ministry of Earth SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Earthquake EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  4. 4.Department of GeophysicsBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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