Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 213–224 | Cite as

Lithological and structural control of Hattian Bala rock avalanche triggered by the Kashmir earthquake 2005, sub-Himalayas, northern Pakistan

  • Muhammad BasharatEmail author
  • Joachim Rohn
  • Dominik Ehret
  • Mirza Shahid Baig


The Kashmir earthquake 2005 (magnitude M W 7.6) triggered thousands of mass movements in northern Pakistan. These mass movements were mainly rock falls, debris falls, rockslides and rock avalanches. The mass movements vary in size from a few hundred cubic meters up to about 100 million cubic meters estimated for the Hattian Bala rock avalanche, the biggest one associated with this earthquake. This mass movement, which moved in southeastern direction, created two natural dams on the valley bottom and blocked the water ways of the Karli and Tung tributaries of the Jhelum River. Topographic, lithologic and structural information were used to investigate the Hattian Bala rock avalanche. Geotechnical and structural maps were prepared to understand relationship between geology and structure of Hattian Bala rock avalanche. The geometry and failure mode of this rock avalanche are controlled by southeast plunging synclinal structures, lithology, a bedding parallel slip surface and a pre-existing old rockslide. The structural map shows that the mass movement failure was due to Danna and Dandbeh synclinal structures plunging southeast on the hanging wall block of the reactivated Muzaffarabad fault. The slip surface of the mass movement followed the bedding planes along mudstone, claystone and sandstone surfaces. The mass movement perfectly followed the pre-existing synclinal morphology of the Danna and Dandbeh synclines.

Key Words

Kashmir earthquake 2005 mass movement rock avalanche Muzaffarabad fault northern Pakistan 


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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Basharat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joachim Rohn
    • 1
  • Dominik Ehret
    • 1
  • Mirza Shahid Baig
    • 2
  1. 1.GeoZentrum NordbayernFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of GeologyUniversity of Azad Jammu and KashmirAzad KashmirPakistan

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