Publication Details

Marechal, A., Mazzotti, S., Cattin, R., Cazes, G., Vernant, P., Drukpa, D., Thinley, K., Tarayoun, A., Le Roux-Mallouf, R., Thapa, B., Pelgay, P., Gyeltshen, J., Doerflinger, E. & Gautier, S. (2016). Evidence of interseismic coupling variations along the Bhutan Himalayan arc from new GPS data. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (24), 12399-12406.


Although the first-order pattern of present-day deformation is relatively well resolved across the Himalayas, irregular data coverage limits detailed analyses of spatial variations of interseismic coupling. We provide the first GPS velocity field for the Bhutan Himalaya. Combined with published data, these observations show strong east-west variations in coupling between central and eastern Bhutan. In contrast with previous estimations of first-order uniform interseismic coupling along the Himalayan arc, we identify significant lateral variations: In western and central Bhutan, the fully coupled segment is 135-155km wide with an abrupt downdip transition, whereas in eastern Bhutan the fully coupled segment is 100-120km wide and is limited updip and downdip by partially creeping segments. This is the first observation of decoupling on the upper ramp along the Himalayan arc, with important implications for large earthquake surface rupture and seismic hazard.



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