Indian Plate Motion, Deformation, and Plate Boundary Interactions

Project Summary: We use 1867 GPS-measured velocities to geodetically constrain Indian plate motion and intra-plate strain to examine plate boundary deformation and plate interactions around the Indian plate. Our solution includes 14 GPS velocities from continuously recording stations from within the stable Indian plate interior which are used to estimate the rotation parameters of the Indian plate. These refined plate motions estimates allow for the rigorous analysis of the India-Eurasia convergence zone where we estimate convergence to be 5-10% higher than previous geodetic estimates (e.g., Paul et al., 2001; 2002; Socquet et al., 2006a; Bettinelli et al., 2006). Dense station coverage along the Himalayan range front allows us rigorously test boundary parameterizations and develop a preferred plate boundary model. In our preferred model the Himalayan range front accumulates ~50% of the India- Eurasia convergence with as much as 25 mm/yr of slip accumulation along some segments.

Publications: Apel, E., R. Bürgmann, P. Bannerjee, and B. Nagarajan, Geodetically constrained Indian Plate motion and implications for plate boundary deformation, Eos Trans. AGU, 85(52), Fall Meeting Supplement, T51B-1524, 2006.

Tools: GPS Geodesy, Elastic Block Modeling

Links: AGU Poster 2006 [PDF - 8.1 MB], GPS Velocity Compilation Figure [PDF - 6.1 MB]

Geographic Location: India

Project Duration: 2005-Current

Group Members Involved: Edwin (Trey) Apel, Roland Bürgmann, and Paramesh Banerjee (Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology)