Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 3, pp 283–297 | Cite as

Probabilistic Appraisal of Earthquake Hazard Parameters Deduced from a Bayesian Approach in the Northwest Frontier of the Himalayas

  • R. B. S. YadavEmail author
  • T. M. Tsapanos
  • Yusuf Bayrak
  • G. Ch. Koravos


A straightforward Bayesian statistic is applied in five broad seismogenic source zones of the northwest frontier of the Himalayas to estimate the earthquake hazard parameters (maximum regional magnitude M max, β value of G–R relationship and seismic activity rate or intensity λ). For this purpose, a reliable earthquake catalogue which is homogeneous for M W ≥ 5.0 and complete during the period 1900 to 2010 is compiled. The Hindukush–Pamir Himalaya zone has been further divided into two seismic zones of shallow (h ≤ 70 km) and intermediate depth (h > 70 km) according to the variation of seismicity with depth in the subduction zone. The estimated earthquake hazard parameters by Bayesian approach are more stable and reliable with low standard deviations than other approaches, but the technique is more time consuming. In this study, quantiles of functions of distributions of true and apparent magnitudes for future time intervals of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 years are calculated with confidence limits for probability levels of 50, 70 and 90 % in all seismogenic source zones. The zones of estimated M max greater than 8.0 are related to the Sulaiman–Kirthar ranges, Hindukush–Pamir Himalaya and Himalayan Frontal Thrusts belt; suggesting more seismically hazardous regions in the examined area. The lowest value of M max (6.44) has been calculated in Northern-Pakistan and Hazara syntaxis zone which have estimated lowest activity rate 0.0023 events/day as compared to other zones. The Himalayan Frontal Thrusts belt exhibits higher earthquake magnitude (8.01) in next 100-years with 90 % probability level as compared to other zones, which reveals that this zone is more vulnerable to occurrence of a great earthquake. The obtained results in this study are directly useful for the probabilistic seismic hazard assessment in the examined region of Himalaya.


Bayesian statistics earthquake hazard parameters maximum regional magnitude quantiles Himalaya 



The authors are thankful to their respective institutes for the support. The first author is thankful to the Director, INCOIS and HoD, ASG, INCOIS for support. Authors, and especially T.M. Tsapanos, would like to express their sincere thanks to Prof. Pisarenko and Prof. A. Lyubushin for introducing the procedure applied here and was developed by them. The collaboration of T.M.T. with Prof. Lyubushin and the cheerful discussions they had some years ago, were very helpful to understand the Bayes approach. Authors are also thankful to Prof. A. Kijko, Editor, PAGEOPH and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments and suggestions which enhanced quality of the manuscript. The GMT system (Wessel and Smith, 1995) was used to plot some figures. INCOIS contribution no 106.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. S. Yadav
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • T. M. Tsapanos
    • 2
  • Yusuf Bayrak
    • 3
  • G. Ch. Koravos
    • 2
  1. 1.Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)HyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Geology, Geophysical LaboratoryThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Department of GeophysicsKaradeniz Technical UniversityTrabzonTurkey
  4. 4.Department of GeophysicsKurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia

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