Geophysics

The Big Dig

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Science  01 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5791, pp. 1203
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5791.1203c

By analyzing aerial photographs of the Mw 7.6 Kashmir earthquake that struck northern Pakistan on 8 October 2005, Avouac et al. show that, unusually for this area, the rupture broke through to the surface. Displacements are evident in ASTER images of the region taken just weeks after the event when these are compared to images of the same area from 5 years earlier. The surface rupture was confined to a strip a few hundred meters wide. Horizontal slip along the fault measured ∼4 m on average, but offsets as large as 7 m were seen north of Muzaffarabad. Because the earthquake was shallow and compact, it caused intense but localized destruction. This pronounced movement along the fault suggests that adjacent regions may be soon be prone to large earthquakes. — JB

Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.06.025 (2006).

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