A few weeks ago I spent ten days of field work in the Suusamyr Valley in Kyrgyzstan. In the framework of the EwF Project and COMET a team from Oxford (Eleanor Ainscoe, Austin Elliott, Richard Walker) and Kyrgyzstan (Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov, Azat Moldobaev) re-visited the epicentral area of the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr earthquake. This thrust earthquake is quite special for it produced intense and widespread secondary earthquake environmental effects (landslides, rockfalls, secondary ruptures, mud eruptions, etc.), but remarkably short primary surface ruptures only. Actually, surface ruptures of several metres height were found near the Suusamyr river, but limited to few hundreds of metres in length. Some 25 km to the west, another set of surface ruptures appeared, which were only about 1 m in height and less than 3 km long. Here are some impressions from our field work.
Taking aerial imagery with a drone
A big thank you to our field crew, the great drivers and our cook!
This research was conducted within the framework of COMET, the Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tectonics, funded by NERC.
Mellors, R. J., Vernon, F. L., Pavlis, G. L., Abers, G. A., Hamburger, M. W., Ghose, S., & Iliasov, B. (1997). The Ms= 7.3 1992 Suusamyr, Kyrgyzstan, earthquake: 1. Constraints on fault geometry and source parameters based on aftershocks and body-wave modeling. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 87(1), 11-22.
Ghose, S., Mellors, R. J., Korjenkov, A. M., Hamburger, M. W., Pavlis, T. L., Pavlis, G. L., … & Muraliev, A. R. (1997). The MS= 7.3 1992 Suusamyr, Kyrgyzstan, earthquake in the Tien Shan: 2. Aftershock focal mechanisms and surface deformation. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 87(1), 23-38.
Bourdeau, C., & Havenith, H. B. (2008). Site effects modelling applied to the slope affected by the Suusamyr earthquake (Kyrgyzstan, 1992). Engineering Geology, 97(3), 126-145.