Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Western Tibet Seismology

Western Tibet Seismology

We installed an array of seismographs across western Tibet to study deep structure, and we recently retrieved data from them. We anticipate constraining the deep structure sufficiently well that we will be able to discriminate between subduction of Indian lithosphere beneath the Himalaya, subduction of Tarim lithosphere beneath northern Tibet, and convective instability of thickened mantle lithosphere beneath Tibet.

Preliminary results [Duret et al., 2010] using aftershocks from the 2008 Wenquan earthquake in Sichuan corroborate those of Shapiro et al. [2004] and show that Love and Rayleigh wave group speeds cannot be matched with the same structure.


Figure 1: Map of western Tibet and the Tien Shan showing deployments of broad-band seismographs in this region during the past 20 years.



Blow-up of our network

Research Group


Cao Zhongquan, Tibetan Seismology Bureau, China Earthquake Administration, Lhasa
Florian Duret, Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris, France
Vadim Levin, Rutgers University
Steve Roecker, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Nikolai Shapiro, Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris, France

Funding Information

Supported by NSF’s Seismology program