Journal of Seismology

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1577–1597 | Cite as

Historical seismogram reproductions for the source parameters determination of the 1902, Atushi (Kashgar) earthquake



The majority of original seismograms recorded at the very beginning of instrumental seismology (the early 1900s) did not survive till present. However, a number of books, bulletins, and catalogs were published including the seismogram reproductions of some, particularly interesting earthquakes. In case these reproductions contain the time and amplitude scales, they can be successfully analyzed the same way as the original records. Information about the Atushi (Kashgar) earthquake, which occurred on August 22, 1902, is very limited. We could not find any original seismograms for this earthquake, but 12 seismograms from 6 seismic stations were printed as example records in different books. These data in combination with macroseismic observations and different bulletins information published for this earthquake were used to determine the source parameters of the earthquake. The earthquake epicenter was relocated at 39.87° N and 76.42° E with the hypocenter depth of about 18 km. We could further determine magnitudes m B = 7.7 ± 0.3, M S = 7.8 ± 0.4, M W = 7.7 ± 0.3 and the focal mechanism of the earthquake with strike/dip/rake − 260°± 20/30°± 10/90°± 10. This study confirms that the earthquake likely had a smaller magnitude than previously reported (M8.3). The focal mechanism indicates dominant thrust faulting, which is in a good agreement with presumably responsible Tuotegongbaizi-Aerpaleike northward dipping thrust fault kinematic, described in previous studies.


Historical seismogram reproductions Analogue seismic records Seismic source parameters 



We would like to express gratitude to all the people who helped us to collect the historical seismograms. Particularly, we are thankful to Siegfried Wendt, and Pia Buchholz from Observatory Collm, Institute of Geophysics and Geology, University of Leipzig; Marius Kriegerowski and library of the Institute of Geophysics, The university of Hamburg. Additionally, we express our very great appreciation to our colleagues from Geodetic and Geophysical Institute, RCAES, HAS, Kővesligethy Radó Seismological Observatory: Péter Varga, Erzsébet Győri, and Anna Kard who provided additional data and very valuable advice for the benefit of this work.

Also, we would like to thank BGS (British Geological Survey) for providing magnetogram records from their unique collection historical magnetograms We are especially grateful to the open online literature sources: Scientific library of the Irkutsk public University, CiNii (Scholarly and Academic Information Navigator, Japan), “Seismogram Archives of Significant Earthquakes of the World” under the supervision of William H.K. Lee; for providing the historical reports and seismogram reproductions.

This research work was a part of PROGRESS project ( and we are grateful to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for the financial support of this project.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge open source software used in this work: GMT—The Generic Mapping Tools developed by Paul Wessel and Walter H. F. Smith; Seismic Handler (seismic waveform analysis tool) developed by Dr. Klaus Stammler and Dr. Marcus Walther; and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).


  1. Abe K, Noguchi S (1983) Revision of magnitudes of large shallow earthquakes, 1897–1912. Phys Earth Planet Inter 33(1):1–11. doi: 10.1016/0031-9201(83)90002-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Batlló J, Arrazola D, Ugalde A (2005) Using magnetograms for earthquake magnitude evaluation. Eos Trans AGU 86(48):498–498. doi: 10.1029/2005EO480003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Belar A (1903) Monatsbericht für jänner 1902der Erdbebenwarte an der k.k. Staats-oberrealschule in Laibach. In: Belar A (ed) Die erdbebenwarte., laibach druck von ig. v. 1901/02. Kleinmayr & fed. Bamberg im verlage des herausgebers. in German, pp 172–173Google Scholar
  4. BGS (2017) Historical UK magnetic observatory magnetograms and yearbooks. British Geological Survey. Accessed 19 June 2017
  5. Blaser L, Krüger F, Ohrnberger M, Scherbaum F (2010) Scaling relations of earthquake source parameter estimates with special focus on subduction environment. Bull Seismol Soc Am 100(6):2914–2926. doi: 10.1785/0120100111 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bormann P, Baumbach M, Bock G, Grosser H, Choy G, Boatwright J (2009) Seismic sources and source parameters. In: Bormann P (ed) New manual of seismological observatory practice (NMSOP). Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Potsdam, pp 1–94Google Scholar
  7. Bormann P, Wendt S, Di Giacomo D (2013) Seismic sources and source parameters. In: Bormann P (ed) New manual of seismological observatory practice 2 (NMSOP2). Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Potsdam, pp 1–259Google Scholar
  8. Burtman VS (2013) The geodynamics of the Pamir-Punjab syntaxis. Geotectonics 47(1):31–51. doi: 10.1134/S0016852113010020 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cadek O (1987) Studying earthquake ground motion in Prague from Wiechert seismograph records. Gerl Beitr Geoph 96:438–447Google Scholar
  10. CMT (2017) Global centroid-moment-tensor (CMT) catalog. CMT catalog web search. Accessed 19 june 2017
  11. Davison C (1921) On scales of seismic intensity and on the construction and use of isoseismal lines. Bull Seismol Soc Am 11(2):95–130Google Scholar
  12. Ekström G, Nettles M, Dziewónski AM (2012) The global CMT project 2004-2010: centroid-moment tensors for 13,017 earthquakes. Phys Earth Planet Inter 200-201(0):1–9. doi: 10.1016/j.pepi.2012.04.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Etzold F (1903) Die von wicherts astatischem pendelseismometer in der zeit vom 15. Juli bis 81. December 1902 in leipzig gelieferten seismogramme von fernbeben. Abdruck aus den berichte der math.-phys. Klasse der königl. Sächs. Gesellschaft der wissenschaften zu leipzig, leipzig, sitzung vom 2. Februar 1903, mit tafel II, in GermanGoogle Scholar
  14. Fu Z, Lü X, Jin X, Dai Y, Shao H, Hao P (2010) Discussion on the abnormally low active fault slip rate of the M S8.0 wenchuan earthquake. Earthquake Research in China 24(3):272–276Google Scholar
  15. Ghose S, Hamburger MW, Virieux J (1998) Three-dimensional velocity structure and earthquake locations beneath the northern Tien Shan of Kyrgyzstan, central Asia. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 103 (B2):2725–2748. doi: 10.1029/97JB01798 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grabrovec D, Allegretti I (1994) On the digitizing of historical seismograms. Geofizika 11:27–31Google Scholar
  17. Gutenberg B (1956) Great earthquakes 1896–1903. Eos Trans AGU 37(5):608–614. doi: 10.1029/TR037i005p00608 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. He YM, Zheng TY, Shan XJ (2001) March 19, 1996 Artux Xinjiang earthquake: a simple unilateral rupture event. Chin J Geophys 44(4):506–514. doi: 10.1002/cjg2.168 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ISC (2017) International Seismological Centre On-line Bulletin. Int. Seis Cent, Thatcham, United Kingdom, Accessed 19 June 2017
  20. Karnik V, Kondorskaya NV, Riznitchenko JV, Savarensky EF, Soloviev SL, Shebalin NV, Vanek J, Zatopek A (1962) Standardization of the earthquake magnitude scale. Stud Geophys Geod 6:41–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kennett BLN, Engdahl ER, Buland R (1995) Constraints on seismic velocities in the Earth from traveltimes. Geophys J Int 122(1):108–124. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.1995.tb03540.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kimball S, et al (2017) GIMP– GNU image manipulation program. GIMP is a freely distributed piece of software. Accessed 19 June 2017
  23. Kondorskaya NV, Shebalin NV (1982) New catalog of strong earthquakes in the U.S.S.R. from ancient times through 1977. Accessed 19 June 2017, report (world data center a for solid earth geophysics)
  24. Krüger F, Kulikova G, Landgraf A (2015) Instrumental magnitude constraints for the 11 July 1889, Chilik earthquake. Geol Soc Lond, Spec Publ:432. doi: 10.1144/SP432.8
  25. Kulikova G (2016) Source parameters of the major historical earthquakes in the tien-shan region from the late 19th to the early 20th century. University of Potsdam. Accessed 19 June 2017, phd thesis, 164 pages. All rights reserved
  26. Kulikova G, Krüger F (2015) Source process of the 1911 m8.0 chon-kemin earthquake: investigation results by analogue seismic records. Geophys J Int 201(3):1891–1911. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv091 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kulikova G, Schurr B, Krüger F, Brzoska E, Heimann S (2016) Source parameters of the Sarez-Pamir earthquake of 1911 february 18. Geophys J Int 205(2):1086–1098. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw069 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mikhailova N, Mukambayev A, Aristova I, Kulikova G, Ullah S, Pilz M, Bindi D (2015) Central Asia earthquake catalogue from ancient time to 2009. Ann Geophys 58(1):S0102(1–9). doi: 10.4401/ag-6681 Google Scholar
  29. Molnar P, Ghose S (2000) Seismic moments of major earthquakes and the rate of shortening across the Tien Shan. Geophys Res Lett 27(16):2377–2380. doi: 10.1029/2000GL011637 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mooney WD, Laske G, Masters TG (1998) CRUST 5.1: a global crustal model at 5° × 5°. J Geophys Res 103(B1):727–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nelson MR, McCaffrey R, Molnar P (1987) Source parameters for 11 earthquakes in the Tien Shan, central Asia, determined by P and SH waveform inversion. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 92(B12):12,629–12,648. doi: 10.1029/JB092iB12p12629 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Olaxton T (1911) Results of magnetic and meteorological observations, the royal alfred observatory, Mauritius, 1902, plate 2. Under the direction of t.f. Olaxton, (f.r.a.s.). Printed by government printing establishment. Accessed 19 June 2017
  33. Omori F (1902) A horizontal pendulum tromometer. Publications of the Earthquake Investigation Committe in Foreign Language 12:1–7Google Scholar
  34. Omori F (1903) Horizontal pendulum observations of earthquakes at Hitotsubashi (Tokyo), 1900. Publications of the Earthquake Investigation Committe in Foreign Language 13:109–111, 120Google Scholar
  35. Omori F (1907) Note on the Kashgar (Turkestan) earthquake of Aug. 22, 1902. In: Omori F (ed) Bulletin of the imperial earthquake investigation committee, vol 1, disaster prevention committee and imperial earthquake investigation committee., Accessed 19 June 2017, pp 161–166Google Scholar
  36. Réthly A (1904) On the earthquake recording instruments. Bullet Nat Sci 36 (414):136–149Google Scholar
  37. Schweitzer J (2001) HYPOSAT - an enhanced routine to locate seismic events. Pure Appl Geophys 158(1-2):277–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schweitzer J (2012) HYPOSAT/HYPOMOD. (GFZ) German Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam, user ManualGoogle Scholar
  39. Schweitzer J, Lee WHK (2003) 88 old seismic bulletins to 1920: a collective heritage from early seismologists. In: Kanamori H, Lee WHK, Jennings PC, Kisslinger C (eds) International handbook of earthquake and engineering seismology. Academic Press, International Geophysics, pp 1665– 1723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Shen J, Bai M, Shi G (2013) A brief introduction to the seismotectonic map of Xinjiang and its neighborhood. Earthquake Research In China 27(3):411–426Google Scholar
  41. Storchak DA, Di Giacomo D, Bondár I, Engdahl ER, Harris J, Lee WHK, Villaseńor A, Bormann P (2013) Public release of the ISC–GEM global instrumental earthquake catalogue (1900–2009). Seismol Res Lett 84(5):810–815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. USGS (2017) Earthquake archive search and URL builder. NEIC, National Earthquake Information Center, U.S Geological Survey, National Center, USA, Accessed 19 June 2017
  43. Voznesenskiy AV (1904) List of earthquake observations by irkutsk magnetic meteorological observatory. In: Kolmin N (ed) Proceedings of the East-Siberian department of the imperial Russian geographical society published by editing committee Volume XXXIV, 1903, n1, steam typo-lithography of Makushin P. and Posohin V., printed upon request of the East Siberian department of the imperial Russian geographical society under the supervision of the editing committee. Accessed 19 June 2017, in Russian and French, the publication was accessed as a scanned copy via Scientific library of the Irkutsk Public University, pp 11–18
  44. Wood HO (1921) Bulletin of the national research council. A list of seismologic stations of the world. The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C, part 7, no 15Google Scholar
  45. Zhao RB, Li J, Shen J (2000) The preliminary study on active faults and paleo-earthquakes in the north fringe of Kashi depression. Acta Seismologica Sinica 13(3):351–355. doi: 10.1007/s11589-000-0045-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhao RB, Shen J, Li J (2001) Preliminary study on the deformation features and seismogenic model of the 1902 Artux, Xinjiang earthquake of \(M_{S}=8\frac {1}{4}\). Journal of Seismology and Geology 23(4):493–500Google Scholar
  47. Zubovich AV, Wang Xq, Scherba YG, Schelochkov GG, Reilinger R, Reigber C, Mosienko OI, Molnar P, Michajljow W, Makarov VI, Li J, Kuzikov SI, Herring TA, Hamburger MW, Hager BH, Dang Ym, Bragin VD, Beisenbaev RT (2010) GPS Velocity field for the tien shan and surrounding regions. Tectonics 29(6):TC6014(1–23). doi: 10.1029/2010TC002772 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

Personalised recommendations