Spectacular landscape changes detected in Gujarat’s Kachchh region due to major earthquakes in recen
- Major earthquake events in the last 30,000 years have resulted in spectacular changes in the landscape of the Katrol Hill Fault in the Kachchh region in Gujarat, a study conducted on sediment samples revealed.
- These findings necessitate a revised seismic hazard assessment and mitigation strategies in Kachchh Basin, owing to its close proximity to the industrial corridor and major settlements, including Bhuj city.
- Seismicity in the Kachchh region is highly complex as it is characterized by multiple seismic sources in the form of several East-West trending fault lines, which release continuously accumulating tectonic stresses at intervals producing earthquakes.
- Real-time monitoring of earthquakes since the occurrence of the devastating 2001 Bhuj earthquake indicate that most of the faults in the region, viz., Kachchh Mainland Fault (KMF), South Wagad Fault (SWF), Gedi Fault (GF), and Island Belt Fault (IBF) are seismically active.
- However, seismic activity along other faults like the Katrol Hill Fault (KHF) is not apparent, thus making the task of seismic hazard estimation and mitigation in the region a scientifically complex process.
What is the study undertaken by the Geologists?
- The study was undertaken to understand the seismic activity along Katrol Hill Fault (KHF) in the Kachchh region.
- The study was funded mainly under the FIST Programme of the Department of Science & Technology.
- Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST) Programme was launched in the year 2000 to strengthen S&T infrastructure with adequate funding and associated flexibility.
- Katrol Hill Fault(KHF) has produced high magnitude seismic events during the past ~30,000 years.
- These seismic events resulted in spectacular changes in the landscape, as evidenced by the disruption and reorganization of the channel of the Gunawari River in the fault zone.
- Hence, it can be a credible seismic source capable of generating surface rupture hazards in the Kachchh Basin.
Significance of the study
- The findings of this study necessitate a revised seismic hazard assessment and mitigation strategies in Kachchh Basin, owing to its close proximity to industrial corridors and major settlements, including Bhuj city.