Earthquake Geology: A tool for Seismic Hazard Assessment

By Prof. Javed N. Malik   |   IIT Kanpur
Before 1970, the assessment of earthquake hazard in United States and the USSR was based solely on the historic earthquake record. But now most workers investigate seismically active faults to undertake paleoseismic studies in both regional and site-specific seismic hazard. In most of the seismically active regions of the world (including Himalayan belt) many active fault zones have no historic record for large magnitude earthquakes. Paleoseismic study is a common practice in many countries like United States, Japan, New Zealand etc. These studies have provided significant data towards recognition of individual paleoseismic (old earthquake) events, behavior of individual active fault segment, rate of faulting; reconstructing the history of large magnitude earthquakes and their repeat time etc. Paleoseismological studies are very important because they provide valuable information to the society to assess the probability and severity for the future earthquakes. This is an upcoming field in India. This course is designed for the PG as well as UG students to help them in developing their knowledge in this field. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE  : UG/PG students of Science and Engineering.

Learners enrolled: 1262


Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 27 Jan 2020
End Date : 17 Apr 2020
Exam Date : 25 Apr 2020
Enrollment Ends : 03 Feb 2020
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
    This is an AICTE approved FDP course


    Week 1 : Crustal deformation and earthquakes (Seismicity), and its significance Plate Tectonics
    Week 2 : Signature of prehistoric earthquakes: Primary and Secondary signatures preserved in landforms and sediment succession
    Week 3 : Signature of prehistoric earthquakes (continued): Primary and Secondary signatures preserved in landforms and sediment succession
    Week 4 : Interpretation and Identification of Active Fault and associated Tectonic Landforms: Photogeologic Mapping, on-fault and off-fault landforms, identification and mapping of active faults and associated landforms.
    Week 5 : Interpretation and Identification of Active Fault and associated Tectonic Landforms (continued): Identification and mapping of active faults and associated landforms in different tectonic environments. Structural analysis of active faults & its implication to regional scale tectonics
    Week 6 : Field Techniques in Paleoseismology: Quantification of active fault scarp by precise mapping, identification of old (prehistoric) earthquake by trenching, mapping of deformed sedimentary succession by faulting.
    Week 7 : Field Techniques in Paleoseismology (continued): Estimation of net displacement during single event, slip rate, magnitude of historic earthquake, recurrence interval, and prediction of future earthquake if possible
    Week 8 : Identification and mapping of secondary effects: Secondary effects due to strong seismic shaking – identification of paleo-liquefaction features
    Dating Techniques: OSL and C14
    Week 9 : Paleo-tsunami geology: Identification of Paleo-tsunami and Mega-subduction zone earthquakes signatures in the coastal region along subduction zones
    Week 10 : Paleo-tsunami geology (continued): Understanding land-level change caused by major earthquakes. Decoupling the role of climate and tectonics
    Week 11 : Paleo-tsunami geology (continued): Understanding the effect of near-field and far-field earthquakes from stratigraphic records. Effects of near-field and far-field tsunami
    Week 12 : Field Study: Identification and mapping of active faults and associated landforms in field. 


    McCalpin, J., 1996. Paleoseismology. Academic Press, 588.
    Yeats, R. S., Sieh, K., and Allen, C. R., 1997. Geology of Earthquakes. Oxford Univ. Press, 568p.
    Burbank, D. W., and Anderson, R. S., 2001. Tectonic Geomorphology. Blackwell Science. 274p.


    Prof. Javed N. Malik

    IIT Kanpur
    - The instructor finished his Ph. D in 1998 from M. S. University Baroda, Vadodara. Gujarat (Geology), did Post-Doctrate (Japan Society for Promotion of Science) from (1999-2001) Hiroshima University, JAPAN. 
    - Joined IIT Kanpur in 2001. 

    Area of Specialization: Active Tectonics, Paleoseismology and Paleo-tsunami 

    Current Areas of Research: 
    • Active fault mapping and Paleoseismological studies along NW Himalaya and Kachchh 
    • Paleo-Tsunami studies in Andaman & Nicobar Islands 
    • Collaboration with Japan, US and France – related to earthquake and tsunami studies 

    Research Projects: 
    • Active tectonic investigation along northwestern Himalayan foothill zone, sponsored by DST 
    • Active fault mapping and paleoseismic investigations in Kachchh region. Gujarat, by OYO International Japan. 
    • Active Tectonic investigations around South-Middle Andaman and Car Nicobar Islands, A&N Islands, sponsored by INCOIS, Hyderabad, MoES.


    • The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
    • The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
    • Date and Time of Exams: 25th April 2020, Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
    • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
    • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
    • Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.

    • Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments
     given in the course. 
    • Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
    • Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

    • If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.
    • Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kanpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.
    • Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.