Q&A with : Rebecca Bendick, Geologist and Professor at the department of geosciences, University of Montana
Updated on: 24 Jun 2016
The Gorkha earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015 devastated the country.
Geologically, the earthquake may have unlocked fault lines in the region, changing its seismicity. Rebecca Bendick has studied the April 2015 quake as well as previous earthquakes in the area to find what the area's seismic future looks like.
Her research provides new insights into the region's tectonics which will be useful to India and even in other countries with similar risk and vulnerabilities. The data collected in Nepal will inform the broader disaster research community.
In an e-mail interview with Down To Earth, Bendick elaborates on the finding of her research.
What are the major findings of your research?
Our main findings are that there was some afterslip in the first six months after the Gorkha earthquake, which released the equivalent of a M7.1 earthquake down dip on the Himalayan faults, so underneath southern Tibet. However, there was no afterslip on the patch of fault south of Kathmandu, so that area will have to move in a future earthquake. We also found that this pattern of "incomplete" rupture appears to have happened in the past, and must leave regions of stress beneath the Himalaya that will contribute slip to future earthquakes.
Please explain the methodology used for your study.