The influence of surface topography on the weak ground shaking in Kathmandu valley during the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal

M. van der Meijde*, Md Ashrafuzzaman, N. Kerle, Saad Khan, H. van der Werff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

It remains elusive why there was only weak and limited ground shaking in Kathmandu valley during the 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal, earthquake. Our spectral element numerical simulations show that, during this earthquake, surface topography restricted the propagation of seismic energy into the valley. The mountains diverted the incoming seismic wave mostly to the eastern and western margins of the valley. As a result, we find de-amplification of peak ground displacement in most of the valley interior. Modeling of alternative earthquake scenarios of the same magnitude occurring at different locations shows that these will affect the Kathmandu valley much more strongly, up to 2–3 times more, than the 2015 Gorkha earthquake did. This indicates that surface topography contributed to the reduced seismic shaking for this specific earthquake and lessened the earthquake impact within the valley.
Original languageEnglish
Article number678
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • ITC-GOLD

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