Seismotectonic study of the Fergana Region (Southern Kyrgyzstan): Distribution and kinematics of local seismicity Seismology

Christian Feld*, Christian Haberland, Bernd Schurr, Christian Sippl, Hans Ulrich Wetzel, Sigrid Roessner, Michèle Ickrath, Ulan Abdybachaev, Sagynbek Orunbaev

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    We present new seismicity and focal-mechanism data for the Fergana basin and surrounding mountain belts in western Kyrgyzstan from a temporary local seismic network. A total of 210 crustal earthquakes with hypocentral depths shallower than 25 km were observed during a 12-month period in 2009/2010. The hypocenter distribution indicates a complex net of seismically active structures. The seismicity derived in this study is mainly concentrated at the edges of the Fergana basin, whereas the observed rate of seismicity within the basin is low. The seismicity at the dominant tectonic feature of the region, the Talas-Fergana fault, is likewise low, so the fault seems to be inactive or locked. To estimate the uncertainties of earthquake locations derived in this study, a strong explosion with known origin time and location is used as a ground truth calibration event which suggests a horizontal and vertical accuracy of about 1 km for our relocations. We derived 35 focal mechanisms using first motion polarities and retrieved a set of nine moment tensor solutions for earthquakes with moment magnitude (Mw) ranging from 3.3 to 4.9 by waveform inversion. The solutions reveal both thrust and strike-slip mechanisms compatible with a NW-SE direction of compression for the Fergana region. Two previously unknown tectonic structures in the Fergana region could be identified, both featuring strike-slip kinematics. The combined analysis of the results derived in this study allowed a detailed insight into the currently active tectonic structures and their kinematics where little information had previously been available.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number40
    JournalEarth, Planets and Space
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2015


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