Natural Hazards

, Volume 99, Issue 2, pp 843–855 | Cite as

Seismically induced snow avalanches at Nubra–Shyok region of Western Himalaya, India

  • Rajinder Parshad
  • Parveen KumarEmail author
  • Snehmani
  • P. K. Srivastva
Original Paper


Snow avalanche can be triggered by different mechanisms including metrological conditions, snow pack stability together with external factor such as seismic tremor and explosions. The snow avalanche triggered by seismic event is very important hazard phenomena in the snow covered region. In the present paper, investigation of earthquake-induced snow avalanches is introduced in Nubra–Shyok region of Western Himalaya, India. Compilation of seismogenic snow avalanche and earthquakes occurred in the Nubra–Shyok region during the period of 2010–2012 is made, which reveals that out of 393 natural avalanches, 81 avalanches was triggered due to the earthquake during this period. The local earthquakes occurred in Nubra–Shyok region, recorded by a local seismic network, are utilized for this work. The same date of occurrence of earthquakes and snow avalanches confirm seismogenic snow avalanche in this region. In the present work, avalanches triggered due to natural seismicity during the period of 2010–2012 related with earthquakes of magnitude 1.7 ≤ Mw ≤ 4.4 and distance of induced snow avalanche from epicenter of earthquakes, i.e., 4–92 km. In this study, lower bound limits of earthquake magnitudes, which cause avalanches, are established up to the distance of 92 km. Relation between earthquake magnitude and distance of induced snow avalanche from epicenter reveals that an earthquake of magnitude 1.4 (Mw) can trigger a snow avalanche as distance approaches to zero from earthquake epicenter. The comparison of obtained relation with other similar types of studies, i.e., Keefer (Geol Soc Am Bull 95:406–421, 1984), Podolskiy et al. (J Glaciol 56(197):431–446, 2010a) confirms the reliability of the present work.


Hazard Himalaya Seismogenic avalanches Earthquakes Magnitude 



The research was funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India; Grant No. MoES/P. (Seismo)/1(83)/2010, dated 10/08/2010. The authors also extend their thanks to the SASE personnel’s for field data collection. The author PK sincerely acknowledged Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun. Authors are thankful to Thomas Glade (Editor-in-Chief) and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which significantly improved this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajinder Parshad
    • 1
  • Parveen Kumar
    • 2
    Email author
  • Snehmani
    • 3
  • P. K. Srivastva
    • 4
  1. 1.Geological Survey of IndiaFaridabadIndia
  2. 2.Wadia Institute of Himalayan GeologyDehradunIndia
  3. 3.Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE)Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)ChandigarhIndia
  4. 4.University of Petroleum and Energy StudiesDehradunIndia

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