Islamabad, Pakistan: The northern Pakistan is prone to about 44 active faults where earthquakes of moderate to high magnitude could trigger in the next 25 years if the energy accumulation is built up due to the movement of tectonic plates, said Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmad, Chairperson of the Quaid-i-Azam University’s (QAU) Earth Sciences Department, Islamabad, Pakistan. Further, he added that the workshop on ‘Indo-Asia Continental Collision’ would bring together geoscientists from the USA and Pakistan and would propose to combine remote sensing and tomographic studies with geo-chemical, isotopic and geo-chronological studies on Ophiolites and arc volcanics.
He was addressing the workshop, organised by the QAU’s Earth Sciences Department in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, USA and universities of Balochistan, Peshawar and Sargodha.
Dr Masoom Yasin Zai, Vice Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University said, “44 active faults force us to focus our studies in the seismicity by using remote sensing and geodesy techniques.” He said the Indo-Asian collision produced spectacular Himalayas and deformed the 2,500 kilometres long Indo-Pakistan northern margin, adding that these fault zones are the main source of shear displacement between disrupted blocks, causing relative motion. Because of these faults, north-western Pakistan, northern India and northern Afghanistan lie in the high seismicity zone, he added.
He also announced that the Department of Earth Sciences, QAU, will be upgraded to School of Earth Sciences, having departments of geophysics, water resources & climate change, seismology and environmental sciences.
Roger Bilham from Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, said in some places along the western boundary in Balochistan, there is evidence that the zone of deformation is focused on a single fault that might be slipping seismically close to the surface.
Dr. Martin Flower of University of Illinois said the Cenozoic Makran complex represents a unique sub-parallel sequence of southward-convex ophiolites, perhaps reflecting rapid episodes of basin opening and closure, early quaternary volcanism of Afghanistan and Pleistocene calc-alkaline activity in Koh-i-Sultan.
Source: The News