NIAS Wednesday Discussion - Dr C P Rajendran will speak on “Revisiting great earthquakes in history: the Indian context”
NIAS Wednesday Discussion
Topic: Revisiting great earthquakes in history: the Indian context
Speaker: C P Rajendran
Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru
Chairperson: R Srikanth
Professor and Dean, School of Natural Sciences & Engineering, NIAS
Date: 15 September 2021
Time: 4.00 PM
Meeting Link: Click here to join the meeting
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Abstract: Instrumental records of earthquakes are only a few decades old and for events that have occurred prior to instrumentation, we rely on various sources. In countries where historical documentation runs back to a few centuries, there is reliable information on such events. Beyond history, we depend on archaeological and geological evidence to capture the events from the past. The 19th and 20th centuries of Indian history have witnessed some of the largest earthquakes, located in northwest (Kachchh, 1819) and northeast India (Shillong, 1897; Assam, 1950) as well as the Himalaya (Garhwal, 1803; Kangra, 1905; Bihar, 1934). The emergence of the science of archaeo- and paleo-seismology, coupled with advances in geochronology, has enabled the reconstruction of earthquake history. Each of these earthquakes have left some footprints, features of surface deformation, co-seismic liquefaction, traces ruptures or fault offsets. Their trails have been used to capture previous events, evidence of destruction preserved on man-made structures, such as temples in the Himalayan hills, providing additional constraints. Historical, archaeological, and geological evidence from the source zones of the earthquakes mentioned above have been successfully used to date their immediate predecessors. These data are essential to develop recurrence patterns of the earthquakes and seismic hazard scenarios.
About the speaker: C. P. Rajendran is a prominent geoscientist of India, with a reputation for his wide-ranging research activities. His research efforts mainly focus on the earthquake sources of India. After a bachelor’s degree at the Trivandrum University College, he took postgraduate and doctoral degrees from Cochin University. Rajendran began his career at the Centre for Earth Science Studies, as a research scientist. Later, he left for the University of South Carolina in the USA for his postdoctoral research. On receiving a Ramanujan Fellowship, he was hosted at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and later in the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, also in Bangalore. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. A contributor to popular media, Rajendran has a range of intellectual interests, including philosophy and sociology of science.
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