Bhutan: According to the latest findings of the Regional Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) research project, a detailed map of ‘fault traces’ can help in reducing seismic disasters in Bhutan. For this, researchers used aerial photographs to find out the fault trace. The topographic interpretation of the photos recognised many fault traces in southern Bhutan.
Mostly, earthquakes are generated by a fault movement when the rock in subsurface slides suddenly to release the strain of the plate motion. Any fault usually remains quiet until the fault movement occurs. In case of the fault movement with large slip at shallow subsurface, it is accompanied with the large to mega earthquake, and surface deformation and surface rupture occurs. The GLOF research suggested that by mapping such fault traces one can reduce the risk of major seismic disasters.
The report further mentioned that in Japan, geoscientists provide a detailed map of fault traces as ‘active fault map’. The public can consider the location of these traces before new construction. By making such similar active fault map, Bhutan can reduce the intensity of damage.
The research further highlighted that the fault movement generates not only heavy shaking but also rupture and deformation on the surface. When the fault moves, and if the infrastructures such as hydro power stations are built away from the fault line, there will be less impact from shaking, and the damage caused by the rupture and deformation will be minimised. Thus finding out the location of the fault trace directly contributes to the reduction of the seismic disaster.
Source: Kuensel Online