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

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

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Abstract

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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