Surface displacement estimation using multi-temporal SAR Interferometry in a seismically active region of the Himalaya

Atanu Bhattacharya*, Malte Vöge, Manoj K. Arora, Mukat L. Sharma, Rajinder K. Bhasin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Indian subcontinent is one of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world. The Himalayas are well known for high seismic activity, and the ongoing northwards drift of the Indian plate makes the Himalaya geodynamically active. During the last three decades, several major earthquakes occurred at the plate interiors and boundaries in this subcontinent causing massive losses. Therefore, one of the major challenges in seismology has been to estimate long recurrence period of large earthquakes where most of the classical Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Approaches fail due to short catalogues used in the prediction models. Therefore, during the past few decades, the Himalayan region has been studied extensively in terms of the present ongoing displacements. In this context the present study has been carried out to estimate the surface displacement in a seismically active region of the Himalaya, in between Ganga and Yamuna Tear, using multi-temporal Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry. A displacement rate of 6.2-8.2 mm/yr in N14°E direction of the Indian plate towards the Tibetan plate has been obtained. It has been noted that the estimated convergence rate using Differential SAR Interferometry technique is relatively low in comparison with those obtained from previous classical studies. The reported low convergence rate may be due to the occurrence of silent/quite earthquakes, aseismic slip, differential movement of Delhi Hardwar ridge, etc. Therefore, in view of the contemporary seismicity and conspicuous displacements, a study of long-term observations of this surface movement has been recommended in future through a time-series SAR Interferometry analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-197
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • Himalayan Frontal Fault
  • SAR Interferometry
  • silent earthquake
  • singular value decomposition
  • small baseline subset


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