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Morphotectonic Study of Frontal Siwalik Hills, near Gandhiri, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: The densely populated foothill zone of western Himalaya between the Beas river and the Chakki stream in and around Kangra is being critically examined by us considering the seismo-tectonic destructive potential of the 1905 (Mw 7.8) Kangra earthquake which has not been evaluated so far. We use Resourcesat 1: LISS III Ortho satellite imageries and field studies to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the active tectonic setup of the terrain. Quantitative morphotectonic analysis viz. hypsometric integral, drainage basin asymmetry, stream sinuosity index, ratio of valley floor width to valley height, stream length gradient index, basin shape index and mountain front sinuosity index are being evaluated on high resolution digital elevation model. The five sub-drainage basins of the Gandhiri stream, the Sukar stream and the Duhg stream of Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India are being morphotectonically analyzed. The value of hypsometric integral, drainage basin asymmetry, stream sinuosity index, ratio of valley floor width to valley height, stream length gradient index, basin shape index and mountain front sinuosity index reveal that the terrain is tectonically active. An active dextral strike slip fault with significant oblique slip component has been inferred and is being named as the Gandhiri Fault. This fault crosses all the five sub-drainage basins and results in multiple stream offsets. The Index of Relative Tectonic Activity (IRAT) has been established for different sub-drainage basins. The study reveals that the terrain near Gandhiri in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh is seismo-tectonically active and proper building codes should be followed in construction activity.

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