Slip pulse and resonance of the Kathmandu basin during the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal

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Science  06 Aug 2015:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac6383

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Detailed geodetic imaging of earthquake rupture enhances our understanding of earthquake physics and induced ground shaking. The April 25, 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake is the first example of a large continental megathrust rupture beneath a high-rate (5 Hz) GPS network. We use GPS and InSAR data to model the earthquake rupture as a slip pulse of ~20 km width, ~6 s duration, and with peak sliding velocity of 1.1 m/s that propagated toward Kathmandu basin at ~3.3 km/s over ~140 km. The smooth slip onset, indicating a large ~5 m slip-weakening distance, caused moderate ground shaking at high >1Hz frequencies (~16% g) and limited damage to regular dwellings. Whole basin resonance at 4-5 s period caused collapse of tall structures, including cultural artifacts.

  • * Now at UNAVCO, Boulder, CO, USA.

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