EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Seismic observations of the 2021 Uttarakhand landslide/debris flow and flood events

Marco Pilz1, Fabrice Cotton1,2, Kristen Cook1, Michael Dieze1, Niels Hovius1,2, Rajesh Rekapalli3, Venkatesh Vempati3, Ravi Prakash Singh3, N. Purnachandra Rao3, Davuluri Srinagesh3, and Virendra M. Tiwari3
Marco Pilz et al.
  • 1Helmholtz Center Potsdam GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2University of Potsdam, Institute for Geosciences, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Uppal Road, Hyderabad, 500007, India

Debris flows and corresponding floods are a significant natural hazard for downstream communities in vulnerable regions, as yet unpredictable triggers and remote source locations might cause dynamics which are difficult to measure and quantify. Continuous observational coverage offered by seismic monitoring is one potential avenue for addressing this problem. Displacement of mass at Earth’s surface generates elastic seismic waves, which carry information about the temporal and spatial variability of the source and which can be recorded by seismometers at high temporal resolution across large spatial scales. Here, we report on seismic observations of the destructive 2021 Uttarakhand (India) debris flow and flood events. By means of a dense regional seismic network, we track and quantify the spatial and temporal evolution of the flood. Using continuous time-stamped seismic observations, a coherent signal of the flood movement is observed in a limited frequency band which can be tracked down the valley during the flood duration. Our analysis highlights potential benefits of using a network-wide seismic monitoring systems.

How to cite: Pilz, M., Cotton, F., Cook, K., Dieze, M., Hovius, N., Rekapalli, R., Vempati, V., Singh, R. P., Rao, N. P., Srinagesh, D., and Tiwari, V. M.: Seismic observations of the 2021 Uttarakhand landslide/debris flow and flood events, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16583,, 2021.

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