Should All of Nepal Be Treated as Having the Same Earthquake Hazard?

  • Seth Stein
  • Edward M. Brooks
  • Bruce D. Spencer
  • Mian Liu
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Natural Hazards book series (SPRINGERNAT)


Current earthquake hazard maps for Nepal predict substantial variations in hazard within the nation, with noticeable differences between maps. We thus suggest that given present knowledge, all of Nepal may be better regarded as equally hazardous and perhaps vulnerable to much larger earthquakes than those currently known because of their long recurrence times. This proposal is based on the limitations of the historical earthquake record, the recognized deficit in seismic moment release, and GPS data showing a similar level of coupling along the arc. Support for using smoother maps can be had from analysis for Japan, which is also located on and parallel to a subduction boundary, showing that in some ways the hazard maps may be overparameterized, in that including too high a level of detail may lower the maps’ ability to predict shaking. Treating Nepal’s hazard as uniform and developing mitigation strategies accordingly may help reduce damage in future earthquakes.


Nepal Earthquake hazard Hazard mitigation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth Stein
    • 1
  • Edward M. Brooks
    • 1
  • Bruce D. Spencer
    • 2
  • Mian Liu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Institute for Policy ResearchNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Statistics and Institute for Policy ResearchNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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