Natural Hazards

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 689–706 | Cite as

The 27 August 2010 Mw 5.7 Kuh-Zar earthquake (Iran): field investigation and strong-motion evidence

  • Mohammad P. Shahvar
  • Mehdi ZaréEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, seismological aspects and field observation of the 2010 Kuh-Zar earthquake has been investigated. The Kuh-Zar earthquake, of magnitude 5.7 (Mw), occurred in northeastern Iran on August 27, 2010. The area is surrounded by branches of the active faults which are coated by the quaternary alluvium. During the past several decades, this area has been struck by a number of earthquakes. This earthquake with a moderate magnitude caused a higher rate of damage contrasted with previous earthquakes of the same magnitude range in Iran. Fortunately, the source of the Kuh-Zar earthquake was in a sparsely populated area, and therefore, it caused a few loss of life with the highest observed intensity of shaking VII (modified Mercalli intensity) in the Kuh-Zar village. The shock killed 4 people, injured 40, and destroyed more than 12 villages. According to the field observation, the mechanism of this shock is defined as a left-lateral strike slip. We also checked out the properties of strong ground motions in this earthquake using the records availed by Iranian strong motion network. At KUZ station, about 7 km east of the epicenter, the recorded PGA and PGV in both horizontal and vertical components were remarkably large for an event of this size, and visual inspection of the velocity time history reveals a pulse-like shape. Unfortunately no other recording stations were located close enough to the fault to capture a directivity pulse. Finally, according to the strong-motion properties and observed information, ShakeMaps of the earthquake have been generated by the native intensity observations and the recorded strong motions.


Macroseismic intensity Instrumental ShakeMaps Kuh-Zar Strong motion Velocity pulse-like shape 



This study is based on the results obtained from a research project in the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), Tehran, Iran, directed by the second author of this article. We are grateful to Vahid Gholami and Majid Maybodian, PhD students of IIEES, for accompanying us in the field. We would like to thank BHRC and Dr. Fereidoun Sinaeian for providing the strong-motion data. Most of the figures were produced using the GMT software of Wessel and Smith (1998). Also we are thankful to two anonymous reviewers of this article for their ideas and comments. With implying theirs comments and suggestions, we believe that the quality of the article has been upgraded.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and SeismologyTehranIran

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