Tag Archive: Eurasian Plate


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Dec 01, 2015 03:03 PM EST

Tectonic plates in the eastern Mediterranean

A recent study found that the historical occurrence of earthquakes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea has been much more plentiful than previously thought. They have suggestions for precautions to take, considering that. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

There is more seismic activity in the eastern Mediterranean than was previously thought, and a study about this was recently accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Historically in the long stretch of geological time, seismic activity near and around Crete has stirred up bursts of earthquakes, and this may increase the region’s future risk of earthquakes and tsunamis, according to a release.

Several tectonic plates are in the Mediterranean basin, caused by the African and Eurasian Plates crashing together there. While scientists have been aware that the collision between the two plates can make the eastern part of that sea and land area susceptible to earthquakes, they’ve also been confused by the region having gone through only two (known) earthquakes larger than 8 on the Richter scale in 4,000 years.

The African Plate goes under the Aegean microplate just south of Crete. This occurs in an area shaped like an arc, which is called the Hellenic margin. The scientists in the study looked at the history of earthquakes in this subduction zone, to learn what could drive mega-earthquakes in the area.

“We study the Hellenic subduction margin going back to about 50,000 years, which is about 10 times the time window of paleo-earthquake observations in the eastern Mediterranean that we had before,” Vasiliki Mouslopoulou, at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, and study lead author, in the release. “For the first time ever, we were able to chart the spatial and temporal pattern with which mega-earthquakes rupture the Hellenic margin.”

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquake

 photo Greece-52MagEQJune6th2013_zps7ec30834.jpg

M5.2 – 5km SW of Koroni, Greece

 2013-06-06 11:53:42 UTC

Earthquake location 36.760°N, 21.907°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-06-06 11:53:42 UTC
  2. 2013-06-06 14:53:42 UTC+03:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-06-06 06:53:42 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

36.760°N 21.907°E depth=10.3km (6.4mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 5km (3mi) SW of Koroni, Greece
  2. 35km (22mi) SSW of Kalamata, Greece
  3. 58km (36mi) SW of Sparta, Greece
  4. 93km (58mi) SSW of Tripolis, Greece
  5. 209km (130mi) SW of Athens, Greece

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Mediterranean Region and Vicinity

The Mediterranean region is seismically active due to the northward convergence (4-10 mm/yr) of the African plate with respect to the Eurasian plate along a complex plate boundary. This convergence began approximately 50 Ma and was associated with the closure of the Tethys Sea. The modern day remnant of the Tethys Sea is the Mediterranean Sea. The highest rates of seismicity in the Mediterranean region are found along the Hellenic subduction zone of southern Greece, along the North Anatolian Fault Zone of western Turkey and the Calabrian subduction zone of southern Italy. Local high rates of convergence at the Hellenic subduction zone (35mm/yr) are associated with back-arc spreading throughout Greece and western Turkey above the subducting Mediterranean oceanic crust. Crustal normal faulting throughout this region is a manifestation of extensional tectonics associated with the back-arc spreading. The region of the Marmara Sea is a transition zone between this extensional regime, to the west, and the strike-slip regime of the North Anatolian Fault Zone, to the east. The North Anatolian Fault accommodates much of the right-lateral horizontal motion (23-24 mm/yr) between the Anatolian micro-plate and Eurasian plate as the Anatolian micro-plate is being pushed westward to further accommodate closure of the Mediterranean basin caused by the collision of the African and Arabian plates in southeastern Turkey. Subduction of the Mediterranean Sea floor beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Calabrian subduction zone causes a significant zone of seismicity around Sicily and southern Italy. Active volcanoes are located above intermediate depth earthquakes in the Cyclades of the Aegean Sea and in southern Italy.

In the Mediterranean region there is a written record, several centuries long, documenting pre-instrumental seismicity (pre-20th century). Earthquakes have historically caused widespread damage across central and southern Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Crete, the Nile Delta, Northern Libya, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The 1903 M8.2 Kythera earthquake and the 1926 M7.8 Rhodes earthquakes are the largest instrumentally recorded Mediterranean earthquakes, both of which are associated with subduction zone tectonics. Between 1939 and 1999 a series of devastating M7+ strike-slip earthquakes propagated westward along the North Anatolian Fault Zone, beginning with the 1939 M7.8 Erzincan earthquake on the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault system. The 1999 M7.6 Izmit earthquake, located on the westward end of the fault, struck one of Turkey’s most densely populated and industrialized urban areas killing, more than 17,000 people. Although seismicity rates are comparatively low along the northern margin of the African continent, large destructive earthquakes have been recorded and reported from Morocco in the western Mediterranean, to the Dead Sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The 1980 M7.3 El Asnam earthquake was one of Africa’s largest and most destructive earthquakes within the 20th century.

Large earthquakes throughout the Mediterranean region have also been known to produce significant and damaging tsunamis. One of the more prominent historical earthquakes within the region is the Lisbon earthquake of November 1, 1755, whose magnitude has been estimated from non-instrumental data to be about 8.0. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake is thought to have occurred within or near the Azores-Gibraltar transform fault, which defines the boundary between the African and Eurasian plates off the west coast of Morocco and Portugal. The earthquake is notable for both a large death toll of approximately 60,000 people and for generating a tsunami that swept up the Portuguese coast inundating coastal villages and Lisbon. An earthquake of approximately M8.0 near Sicily in 1693 generated a large tsunami wave that destroyed numerous towns along Sicily’s east coast. The M7.2 December 28, 1908 Messina earthquake is the deadliest documented European earthquake. The combination of severe ground shaking and a local tsunami caused an estimated 60,000 to 120,000 fatalities.

Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image

7.8 83km E of Khash, Iran 2013-04-16 10:44:20 28.107°N 62.053°E 82.0

M7.8 – 83km E of Khash, Iran 2013-04-16 10:44:20 UTC

Earthquake location 28.107°N, 62.053°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-04-16 10:44:20 UTC
  2. 2013-04-16 15:14:20 UTC+04:30 at epicenter
  3. 2013-04-16 05:44:20 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

28.107°N 62.053°E depth=82.0km (51.0mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 83km (52mi) E of Khash, Iran
  2. 168km (104mi) NE of Iranshahr, Iran
  3. 192km (119mi) SE of Zahedan, Iran
  4. 232km (144mi) SSW of Rudbar, Afghanistan
  5. 606km (377mi) NE of Muscat, Oman

Tectonic Summary

The April 16, 2013 M 7.8 earthquake east of Khash, Iran, occurred as a result of normal faulting at an intermediate depth in the Arabian plate lithosphere, approximately 80 km beneath the Earth’s surface. Regional tectonics are dominated by the collisions of the Arabian and India plates with Eurasia; at the longitude of this event, the Arabian plate is converging towards the north-northeast at a rate of approximately 37 mm/yr with respect to the Eurasian plate. Arabian plate lithosphere is subducted beneath the Eurasian plate at the Makran coast of Pakistan and Iran, and becomes progressively deeper to the north.

The subducted Arabian plate is known to be seismically active to depths of about 160 km. The frequency of moderate and large earthquakes within the subducted Arabian plate is not high compared with similar events in some other subducted plates worldwide, but several earthquakes have occurred within this slab in the region of today’s event over the past 40 years, including a magnitude 6.7 shock 50 km to the south in 1983. In January of 2011, a M 7.2 earthquake occurred approximately 200 km to the east, in a similar tectonic environment to the April 16 earthquake.

Seismotectonics of the Middle East and Vicinity

No fewer than four major tectonic plates (Arabia, Eurasia, India, and Africa) and one smaller tectonic block (Anatolia) are responsible for seismicity and tectonics in the Middle East and surrounding region. Geologic development of the region is a consequence of a number of first-order plate tectonic processes that include subduction, large-scale transform faulting, compressional mountain building and crustal extension.

Mountain building in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan is the result of compressional tectonics associated with collision of the India plate moving northwards at a rate of 40 mm/yr with respect to the Eurasia plate. Continental thickening of the northern and western edge of the India subcontinent has produced the highest mountains in the world, including the Himalayan, Karakoram, Pamir and Hindu Kush ranges. Earthquake activity and faulting found in this region, as well as adjacent parts of Afghanistan and India, are due to collisional plate tectonics.

Beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur to depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. Shallower crustal earthquakes in the Pamir-Hindu Mountains occur primarily along the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults, which accommodate much of the region’s crustal shortening. The western and eastern margins of the Main Pamir Thrust display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of southeastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The relatively fast moving left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman Fault system in southeastern Afghanistan accommodates translational motion between the India and Eurasia plates. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman Fault system near Kabul, Afghanistan ruptured causing widespread destruction of Kabul and surrounding villages. In the same region, the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta, Pakistan earthquake, occurred within the Sulaiman Range, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

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Updates From  RSOE EDIS

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Earthquake in Iran on Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 11:12 (11:12 AM) UTC.

Description
Powerful earthquakes (M7.8) has been observed in State of Baluchestan, Iran on 16.04.2013 at 10:44 UTC. The earthquake’s hypocenter was 15 kilometres depth. This earthquake is shallow depth and major class, very likely to have caused significant damage in the region.

Earthquake in Iran on Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 11:12 (11:12 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 12:06 UTC
Description
At least 40 people are feared dead in Iran following a powerful earthquake near its border with Pakistan, Iran’s state-run Press TV reported Tuesday, citing local reports. The earthquake was preliminarily measured at 7.8 magnitude, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter was 53 miles east-southeast of the Iranian town of Khash, 103 miles northeast of Iranshahr and 123 miles south-east of Zahedan, according to the USGS. Shafiq Ahmed, an official with Pakistan’s metreological department, told CNN the tremor, which he put at magnitude 7.9, struck inside southern Iran, near the border with Pakistan. Tremors were felt in southern Pakistan, including the city of Karachi, and across Balochistan province from Gwadar on the southern coast to Quetta and the border with Iran. Carrieann Bedwell, a USGS seismologist, said a 7.8 magnitude earthquake was “a large event for any area” and could be expected to cause damage in inhabited places. Aftershocks can be expected for days or weeks after a quake of the magnitude, she said. The earthquake was felt as far away as Abu Dhabi, where buildings shook for 40 seconds or more, but it’s not yet clear what damage has been caused across the region.

Earthquake in Iran on Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 11:12 (11:12 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 13:31 UTC
Description
A powerful earthquake that struck southeastern Iran was felt in several countries in Asia on Tuesday, rocking buildings in the Indian capital of New Delhi, sending panicked resident of Karachi, Pakistan, fleeing into the streets and causing tremors through Persian Gulf states. Iranian officials said they expected hundreds of deaths. The earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was near Khash, Iran, not far from Iranâ

Earthquake in Iran on Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 11:12 (11:12 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 16:09 UTC
Description
major earthquake flattened homes and offices on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border Tuesday, rattling buildings as far away as New Delhi and Dubai. Iranian state media said at least 46 people died, but later Iranian reports offered a far milder picture. The discrepancies and apparent backtracking in the Iranian reports could not be immediately reconciled, but Iran has faced two large quakes in less than week and authorities could seek to downplay casualties. Iran’s state-run Press TV initially said at least 40 people were killed on the Iranian side, but later removed the figure from its website and news scroll. Other state-controlled outlets, including the official IRNA news agency, mentioned no deaths and only injuries, quoting a local official.

Earthquake in Iran on Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 11:12 (11:12 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 at 19:32 UTC
Description
Iran’s Red Crescent said it was facing a “complicated emergency situation” in Sistan and Baluchistan, where villages are scattered over desolate hills and valleys. A resident in the quake zone, Manouchehr Karimi, told The Associated Press by phone that “the quake period was long” and occurred “when many people were at home to take a midday nap.” Iranian state TV said power and communications systems were down in the province.

 

Quake rocks Iran and Pakistan

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes southeastern Iran near border with Pakistan, killing at least 15 people.

Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2013 15:15

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A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has struck southeastern Iran near the border with Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 15 people, with casualties feared to rise, according multiple news sources.

The US Geological Survey said on Tuesday that the epicentre of the quake was 86km southeast of Khash, Iran.

According to the Iranian FARS news agency, several people were killed in the sparsely populated region.

An Iranian government official said on he feared more casualties from the earthquake.

“It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

A resident in the quake zone, Manouchehr Karimi, told AP by phone that “the quake period was long” and occurred “when many people were at home to take a midday nap”.

In Panjgur in the Pakistan state of Balochistan, five more people were confirmed killed, Balochistan home secretary told Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid. In a village called Mashkel, dozens of mud houses have reportedly collapsed.

Another Al Jazeera correspondent in Pakistan also quoted “eye witnesses” as saying that thousands of homes were “fully destroyed” in areas near Iran’s border with Pakistan.

Al Jazeera’s Saira Jaffer, reporting from Islamabad, said tremors were also felt across Karachi and Balochistan.

Many buildings in Karachi were reportedly evacuated.

In the Indian capital New Delhi, tall buildings shook sending people running into the streets, witnesses told Reuters.

Across the Gulf, people also evacuated shaking buildings in Qatar and Dubai, residents said. Dubai has the world’s tallest tower, the 828-metre Burj Khalifa.

Last week, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake also hit Iran killing at least 37 people and injuring 850 more in the country’s southwest.

In December 2003, a big earthquake struck the southern city of Bam. It killed 31,000 people – about a quarter of the population – and destroyed the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.

What Caused Iran’s Deadly Earthquake?

Date: 09 April 2013 Time: 12:16 PM ET

Our-amazing-planet

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Zagros Mountains, Iran
The Zagros Mountains mark the boundary between two colliding continental plates.
CREDIT: NASA Earth Observatory

Crashing continents caused today’s (April 9) deadly earthquake in Iran, which killed dozens, according to news reports.

The magnitude-6.3 Iran earthquake hit in the southern Zagros Mountains, a stunning range that marks the boundary between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, said Bill Barnhart, a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Denver office. The Arabian plate is grinding northward at about 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) a year, pushing the boot-shaped Arabian peninsula into the Eurasian plate, which covers most of Europe and Asia.

Just like the Himalaya Mountains, whose grand height and complex tectonics reflect the impact between the Indian and Eurasian plates, the Zagros Mountains are a mix of different earthquake fault styles, Barnhart told OurAmazingPlanet.

 

Today’s quake was a thrust fault earthquake, meaning the ground on one side of the fault moved vertically up and over the other side, shortening the distance between the two sides. The epicenter was 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Bushehr, the city where Iran’s only nuclear power station is located. The quake originated 6.2 miles (10 km) below the Earth’s surface and struck at 4:22 p.m. local time (7:52 a.m. EDT), the USGS reported.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

 

By

Adonai

Posted on March 3, 2013Posted in: Seismic activity

Destructive and shallow earthquake with recorded magnitude of 5.5 (USGS) struck Yunnan, China on March 3, 2013 at 5:41 UTC. By preliminary report USGS measured depth of 32.8 km. EMSC reported 5.4 magnitude earthquake and depth of 60 km. The CENC has stated that today’s earthquake had a magnitude of 5.5 and was 9 km in depth. The Yunnan Province Seismological Bureau has started grade IV emergency response which means they are expecting major damage. Epicenter location was 30 km (18 miles) E of Shimen, China and 51 km (31 miles) WNW of Dali, China, at coordinates 25.919°N, 99.725°E. ER reports that so far there...
  • The Watchers

Destructive and shallow earthquake with recorded magnitude of 5.5 (USGS) struck Yunnan, China on March 3, 2013 at 5:41 UTC. By preliminary report USGS measured depth of 32.8 km. EMSC reported 5.4 magnitude earthquake and depth of 60 km. The CENC has stated that today’s earthquake had a magnitude of 5.5 and was 9 km in depth. The Yunnan Province Seismological Bureau has started grade IV emergency response which means they are expecting major damage.

Epicenter location was 30 km (18 miles) E of Shimen, China and 51 km (31 miles) WNW of Dali, China, at coordinates 25.919°N, 99.725°E.

ER reports that so far there have been at least 20 injured, 700 rooms have collapsed and 1800 rooms were damaged. More damage is expected to be counted given the dense population of the area.

Magnitude 5.5
Date-Time
  • Sunday, March 03, 2013 at 05:41:20 UTC
  • Sunday, March 03, 2013 at 01:41:20 PM at epicenter
Location 25.919°N, 99.725°E
Depth 32.8 km (20.4 miles)
Region YUNNAN, CHINA
Distances 30 km (18 miles) E of Shimen, China
51 km (31 miles) WNW of Dali, China
115 km (71 miles) SSW of Dayan, China
209 km (129 miles) WSW of Dadukou, China
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 16.5 km (10.3 miles); depth +/- 6.9 km (4.3 miles)
Parameters NST=159, Nph=160, Dmin=664.6 km, Rmss=0.88 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=8
Source
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc000fff5

 

 

Tectonic summary by USGS

Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (<200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.

 

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SW China quake destroys 700 homes, injures 30

March 3, 2013

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, firefighters work on a damaged building after a 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit Eryuan County of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Sunday, March 3, 2013.

BEIJING — A moderate earthquake collapsed hundreds of homes and injured at least 30 people in southwest China.

The earthquake bureau in Yunnan province, where the quake occurred Sunday, said three of the injured people were in serious condition.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the quake damaged 2,500 houses and caused 700 others to collapse.

About 55,000 people were affected by the quake, Xinhua said, citing Yunnan’s Civil Affairs Department. Supplies were on their way to the quake-hit area, including 6,000 tents.

The magnitude-5.5 quake struck 51 kilometers (32 miles) from the city of Dali at a depth of 33 kilometers (20 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

About 34 aftershocks were recorded after the quake, Xinhua said.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Earthquakes

5.5 29km E of Shimen, China 2013-03-03 05:41:20 25.919°N 99.725°E 32.8

M5.5 – 29km E of Shimen, China 2013-03-03 05:41:20 UTC

Earthquake location 25.919°N, 99.725°E

 

Event Time

  1. 2013-03-03 05:41:20 UTC
  2. 2013-03-03 13:41:20 UTC+08:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-03-02 23:41:20 UTC-06:00 system time

Location

25.919°N 99.725°E depth=32.8km (20.3mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 29km (18mi) E of Shimen, China
  2. 51km (32mi) WNW of Dali, China
  3. 116km (72mi) SSW of Dayan, China
  4. 209km (130mi) WSW of Dadukou, China
  5. 776km (482mi) NNE of Nay Pyi Taw, Burma

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (<200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.