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Nepal Earthquake 4.25.15: Resources from the UC Berkeley Earth Sciences & Map Library


This page contains information related to the geology and mapping of the April 25 and May 12, 2015 earthquakes in Nepal and their after effects. 

Berkeley Seismo Lab

"The cause for Saturday's earthquake is the northward movement of the Indian Plate. It crawls with a speed of about 2 inches per year, roughly the same rate with which the Pacific Plate slides past North American in our area. However, the major tectonic difference between California and the Indo-Eurasian plate boundary is the consequence of the plate encounter. When India meets the huge Eurasian Plate, it is forced to dive into the Earth's mantle. This head-on collision also thrusts upwards the Himalayas, making it the highest mountain chain in the world."

See further explanation on the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, Seismo Blog: "The Quake that Shook Mt. Everest"

USGS Resources

GIS & Other Data Sources

Maps at the library

Articles and books

  • Mugnier, Jean-Louis, Pascale Huyghe, Pascale Leturmy, and Franois Jouanne. 2004. "Episodicity and rates of thrust-sheet motion in the Himalayas (western Nepal)." 91-114.
  • April 2015 issue of the Nepal Geological Society
  • Auden, J. B. 1934. Preliminary account of the earthquake of the 15th January, 1934, in Bihar and Nepal. Records of the Geological Survey of India, QE 295 .A37 v. 68.
  • Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India. 1939. The Bihar-Nepal Earthquake of 1934. QE295 .A36 v. 73.
  • Pandey, M. R., R. P. Tandukar, J. P. Avouac, J. Vergne, and Th Heritier. 1999. Seismotectonics of the Nepal Himalaya from a local seismic network. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 17(5): 703-712. doi: 10.1016/S1367-9120(99)00034-6
  • DeCelles, P. G., D. M. Robinson, J. Quade, T. P. Ojha, C. N. Garzione, P. Copeland, and B. N. Upreti. 2001. Stratigraphy, structure, and tectonic evolution of the Himalayan fold-thrust belt in western Nepal, Tectonics, 20(4), 10.1029/2000TC001226
  • Tectonics of the Western Himalaya. Geological Society of America Special Paper (1989) 232.
  • Himalayan Tectonics. Geological Society of London Special Publication (1993) 74.
  • Kathmandu Valley's Earthquake Scenario (via Berkeley Seismo Lab)

Help Out

You can help!

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (@hotosm on Twitter) seeks volunteers to help map areas affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Volunteers from around the world digitize roads, residential areas, and tent cities of displaced people on OpenStreetMap based on satellite imagery. Responders on the ground use this mapping data to reach people in need.

For a quick-start guide, check out this 30-minute tutorial. Then head over to the OSM Task Manager, which lists priority tasks and divides them into small chunks. Select a task, read the instructions carefully, choose an area to work, and start mapping.

Note: You will need to create an OpenStreetMap account in order to be able to edit the map.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched the Emergency Access Initiative, Granting Free Access to Books and Journals for Healthcare Professionals Responding to Earthquake in Nepal.  The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from over 650 biomedical journals and over 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It serves as a temporary collection replacement and/or supplement for libraries affected by disasters that need to continue to serve medical staff and affiliated users. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster. EAI is not an open access collection.