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Earthquake Environmental Effects of the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr Earthquake, Kyrgyzstan, and Their Implications for Paleo-Earthquake Studies

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0EZ, UK
2
Institute of Geological Sciences, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 07749 Jena, Germany
3
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
4
Kyrgyz Seismological Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, 720060 Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9060271
Received: 20 May 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 19 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
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Abstract

Large pre-historical earthquakes leave traces in the geological and geomorphological record, such as primary and secondary surface ruptures and mass movements, which are the only means to estimate their magnitudes. These environmental earthquake effects (EEEs) can be calibrated using recent seismic events and the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI2007). We apply the ESI2007 scale to the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr Earthquake in the Kyrgyz Tien Shan, because similar studies are sparse in that area and geological setting, and because this earthquake was very peculiar in its primary surface rupture pattern. We analyze literature data on primary and secondary earthquake effects and add our own observations from fieldwork. We show that the ESI2007 distribution differs somewhat from traditional intensity assessments (MSK (Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik) and MM (Modified Mercalli)), because of the sparse population in the epicentral area and the spatial distribution of primary and secondary EEEs. However, the ESI2007 scale captures a similar overall pattern of the intensity distribution. We then explore how uncertainties in the identification of primary surface ruptures influence the results of the ESI2007 assignment. Our results highlight the applicability of the ESI2007 scale, even in earthquakes with complex and unusual primary surface rupture patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: earthquake environmental effects; Suusamyr earthquake; Kyrgyzstan; Tien Shan; surface rupture; landslide; digital elevation model (DEM); Structure-from-Motion earthquake environmental effects; Suusamyr earthquake; Kyrgyzstan; Tien Shan; surface rupture; landslide; digital elevation model (DEM); Structure-from-Motion
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Grützner, C.; Walker, R.; Ainscoe, E.; Elliott, A.; Abdrakhmatov, K. Earthquake Environmental Effects of the 1992 MS7.3 Suusamyr Earthquake, Kyrgyzstan, and Their Implications for Paleo-Earthquake Studies. Geosciences 2019, 9, 271.

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