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TRANSPRESSION IN ANDAMAN ISLANDS : A STUDY BASED ON 1

GPS MEASUREMENTS FOLLOWING GREAT SUMATRA ANDAMAN 2


EARTHQUAKE , 2004 3
4
S. K. Som
a
, Anjan Rai Choudhuri
b
, Vijay Shivgotra
a
, S. R. Basir
c
, Ashim Kumar Saha
a
, 5
M. M. Swamy
a
6
7
a
Earthquake Geology Division,
c
Engineering Geology Division 8
Geological Survey of India, Eastern Region 9
DK-Block, Sector-II, Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700095, INDIA 10
11
b
Natural Resource Assessment, Energy Minerals Division 12
Geological Survey of India 13
DK-Block, Sector-II, Salt Lake City, Kolkata-700095, INDIA 14
15
Abstract 16
Following the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, 2004, GPS measurements were 17
taken at several locations in Andaman Islands. This was done to understand the post 18
seismic deformation trend in Andaman region. Analysis of the data has revealed that the 19
displacements at different points in Andaman are not concurrent, implying that the region 20
suffers non-rigid displacement. The general sense of displacement being all oblique to 21
Java - Andaman trench axis, suggests that the region is under transpression. 22
Displacement being infinitesimally small, deformation pattern in the region is 23
calculated in terms of infinitesimal strain. The total transpressive strain is factorized in an 24
inclined framework where it is assumed that the XZ plane is oriented parallel to the 25
subducting plate. On factorization it is observed that South Andaman is least deformed, 26
where simple shear is the only active component. From South Andaman to Nort 27
Andaman the pure shear component is gradually increased. This leads to a progressive 28
decrease in kinematical vorticity number (W
k
) from 1.0 near South Andaman to 0.5 near 29
North Andaman, implying that the trench axis north of North Andaman is under active 30
transpression. 31
The trench axis located to the west of Andaman Islands, probably offers low 32
resistance to slip as a consequence to strain release through rupturing that extended from 33
Sumatra to North Andaman during the Great earthquake, 2004. In Andaman region, 34
transpressive regime across the trench axis located to the north of North Andaman could 35
therefore be a probable site of a major earthquake in future. 36
37
38
39
40
41
Keywords: Andaman; GPS; Transpression 42
43
44
45
1 Introduction

46
47
The December 26, 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of moment magnitude 9.3 48
ruptured ~1500 km (Banerjee et al., 2007) of curved convergent boundary extending 49
from northwestern Sumatra to North Andaman (Ghosh and Mishra, 2008). Several co- 50
seismic slip models were proposed for Andaman region from GPS geodesy after the 51
earthquake (Ammon, 2005; Banerjee et al., 2005; Chlieh et al., 2007; Lay et al., 2005; 52
Ray and Acharyya, 2007; Som, 2009; Subarya et al., 2006; Vigny et al., 2005). Deep slip 53
in the stable frictional regime accelerated to catch up the coseismic rupture with an 54
observation on azimuthal variation of velocity vectors was suggested for post-seismic 55
period(Paul et al., 2007). 56
Subduction of India plate below Burma sliver plate formed accretionary 57
subduction complex of Andaman-Nicobar Islands (Curray, 1979) with curved plate 58
boundary (trench-axis). Off Andaman Islands, the Andaman trench strikes nearly N 3
o
E 59
at Little Andaman and swings sharply to N 30
o
E near North Andaman. This gives rise to 60
a convex bend of the subduction interface towards north. Given the N 23
o
E direction of 61
India plate convergence with a rate of about 54 mm/yr at 9
o
N and 92
o
E (DeMets et al., 62
1990) the deformational kinematics of subduction interface with accretionary wedge is 63
likely to differ from south to north of Andaman Group of Islands. Orientation of velocity 64
vectors, geometry of plate margin and angle of obliquity between the two gives rise to 65
transpression which is actually a combination of both pure shear and simple shear (Beck, 66
1991; Molnar, 1992). The concept of transpression has helped the geoscientists to 67
understand the three dimensional nature of deformation arising from plate movements 68
(Dewey, 1998; Jones et al., 2004; McCaffrey, 1992). 69
Inspite of known oblique convergence of Andaman Islands, there has been no effort 70
to work out the nature of transpressional activities in the region. In this paper, we attempt 71
to find the process by which the subduction zone near Andaman is gradually 72
accumulating strain following a major phase of strain release during the mega earthquake 73
of 2004. 74
The original model of transpression (Sanderson and Marchini, 1984) has been 75
modified several times to analyze the effects of deformation under different boundary 76
conditions. While most of these models assume that a tabular zone is subjected to 77
homogeneous deformation (Fossen and Tikoff, 1993; Fossen and Tikoff, 1998; Ghosh, 78
2001; Horsman and Tikoff, 2007; Lin, 1998; Sanderson and Marchini, 1984; Tikoff and 79
Fossen, 1993) between two undeformed wall rocks, there are a few which assume that the 80
tabular zone deforms heterogeneously (Dutton, 1997; Robin and Cruden, 1994). Many of 81
these different models have been invoked to explain natural examples of finite 82
deformation. The present work is to collate GPS data on infinitesimal deformation 83
collected from different points distributed over Andaman islands and to use it in 84
explaining the evolving pattern of deformation in the region, which is transpressive and 85
heterogeneous as well. 86
87
2 Tectonic setting 88
The Andaman arc-trench system has evolved due to the active subduction of the Indian 89
oceanic lithosphere below the Eurasian plate along the Andaman-Java trench, from Cretaceous to 90
the present day (Curray and Moore, 1974). The Andaman-Nicobar ridge and the outer arc 91
ridge off Sumatra and Java constitute accretionary subduction complex of Bengal fan and 92
oceanic crust over the overriding Burma sliver-plate (Curray, 2005; Curray et al., 2002; 93
Curray, 1979). The 2200 km long subduction zone of Sunda-Andaman trench is formed 94
in between India-Australia plates and Burma/SE Asia plates. The Burma sliver plate 95
comprises several N-S trending prominent structural features. The Andaman-Nicobar 96
ridge is a part of the outer arc in the west followed towards east by fore-arc basin, active 97
volcanic inner-arc and back-arc basin with spreading ridge in Andaman sea (Dasgupta 98
and Mukhopadhyay, 1993; Dasgupta et al., 2003; Raju et al., 2004). Several prominent 99
faults trending N-S and NE-SW, such as Eastern Margin Fault, Diligent Fault and West 100
Andaman Fault from west to east traverses the entire system, some of which are active 101
(Curray, 2005). 102
Geologically, more than three thousand meters thick ophiolite-melange-flysch 103
association in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are classified into four lithostratigraphic 104
Groups. The Mithakhari Group is the oldest Tertiary sedimentary succession comprising 105
conglomerate, sandstone, siltsone, limestone and shale, which unconformably overlies 106
the ophiolitic oceanic crust (Ray, 1982). The Mithakhari Group is overlain by Andaman 107
Flysch Group of Upper Eocene to Early Miocene age. This consists of sandstone-shale 108
rhythmites with extensive development of Bouma sequences. The Archipelago Group, 109
considered to be the youngest sedimentary package of the Tertiary stratigraphy (Middle 110
Miocene to Late Pliocene), is composed of argillaceous limestone, marl, hard 111
fossiliferous cherty beds, thin laminated white and bluish grey silty claystone and soft 112
friable white claystone interbeds (Bandopadhyay and Ghosh, 1998; Ray, 1982). The 113
oceanic crust (Ophiolite group) in Andaman Islands occur as dismembered units of 114
subhorizontal sheets thrusted over the much younger Andaman Flysch (Acharyya et al., 115
1989; Sengupta et al., 1990). 116
117
3 GPS measurements and data processing. 118
GPS campaign measurements of post-seismic deformation in Andaman Islands were 119
carried out at twelve sites extending from North Andaman to Little Andaman. Data were 120
collected in three epochs spanning from December, 2005 to April, 2008. LEICA SR-520 121
GPS receiver with Chock Ring Antennae (AT-503) was used for data collection. 122
Considering the local geology, we have distributed our campaign sites to cover all major 123
rock types and known fault systems at surface. Most of our sites were established over 124
hard rocks with a mark of 2 to 3 mm diameter holes. Where rock exposures were not 125
available, the stations were established on concrete pillars. Table-1 summarizes the 126
information on the location, geology and occupation history of all our sites used in this 127
analysis. 128
GPS data collected was converted to Receiver INdependent EXchange (RINEX) file 129
by using TEQC ( ver: 2008Feb15) software. Site velocities were estimated using 130
GAMIT/GLOBK ver. 10.35 (Herring et al., 2009). The campaign sites data along with 131
continuously available daily data of permanent 48 number of IGS sites with 30 seconds 132
sampling intervals and 15
o
satellite elevation cut-off were used in analysis. We have also 133
included one station (BITI) at Sumatra region from SUGAR network. First we computed 134
loosely constrained daily GAMIT solutions with the estimates of co-ordinates, satellite 135
orbital parameters, zenith tropospheric delay, satellite and receiver clock errors and 136
phase ambiguities for each site. In the second step the daily solutions were combined 137
with daily solutions from global sites provided by SOPAC ( http://sopac.ucsd.edu ) taking 138
into account the value of the chi-square indicator as a criterion to estimate goodness of fit 139
of the model (Dong et al., 1998). These results a loosely constrained position time series 140
for the whole campaign period. In the final step sequential Kalman filtering was done to 141
obtain the station co-ordinates and velocities by GLOBK / GLORG, constraining the 142
ITRF2005, co-ordinates and velocities of global tracking sites comprising the reference 143
network. We have included the offset parameters for sudden site motion due to 144
earthquakes and monument change up to 2005 as provided with GAMIT/GLOBK 145
software distribution. 146
GPS sites position time series are always affected by white noise and colored noise 147
components (Mao et al., 1999). We have tried to model white noise by controlling nrms 148
of time series. However these anomalously increase the velocity uncertainty. This is due 149
to only three observation campaign and probably because of large offsets in most of the 150
regional permanent sites after the 2004 earthquake. Nevertheless, we added 05 mm for 151
east and north components and 3.0 mm for up component uniformly for all sites to have a 152
comparatively better velocity solution. We have also added 0.5 mm/sqrt (yr) for east and 153
north and 3.0 mm/sqrt (yr) for up random walk (Markov) noise to the velocity solution to 154
account for temporally errors in the velocity estimates and uncertainties (McCaffrey et 155
al., 2007). 156
4. Results 157
4.1 ITRF2005 velocity field 158
Velocities derived for our GPS campaign at Andaman in ITRF2005 (Altamimi et al., 159
2007) include 48 numbers of global continuously tracking GPS stations (Figure 1). 42 160
global stations were used for realization of the ITRF2005 reference frame show most of 161
the stations have < 2 mm residuals ( inset of figure-1) indicating robust stabilization 162
(Table 2). The velocity field clearly demarcates several distinct tectonic regimes. At 163
Sunda shelf, in west of Sumatra fault (NTUS) movement was towards south-east, 164
whereas, station within fore-arc sliver block between the Sumatran fault and Java trench 165
(BITI) the azimuth of GPS velocity was trench normal. The Andaman region shows wide 166
variation in velocity azimuth varying between SW to NNE (Figure 2). Velocities at Little 167
Andaman was 69.67 1.30 E mm/yr and 39.20 1.14 N mm/yr, at South Andaman 168
(average of four stations ) 40.12 1.34 E mm/yr and 4.95 1.14 N mm/yr, at Baratang 169
island 43.37 1.32 E mm/yr and 10.25 1.15 N mm/yr, at Middle Andaman (average 170
of three stations ) 27.01 1.53 E mm/yr and 21.66 1.38 N mm/yr, at North Andaman 171
(average of two stations ) 7.00 1.61 E mm/yr and 36.65 1.46 N mm/yr and at Havlock 172
island 36.08 1.03 E mm/yr and 20.66 0.91 N mm/yr. In general, excluding Little 173
Andaman and Havlock as we move from south to north, velocity vectors rotate from 174
trench normal to trench parallel direction. At Havlock island, the velocity vector is 175
parallel to a nearby NE-SW trending fault whereas, at Little Andaman the effect of 176
northern component on velocity was more than that of adjoining South Andaman. 177
4.2 Motion relative to Eurasia Reference Frame 178
Tectonically the south-east Asia and consequently the Sunda shelf is ostensibly part 179
of vast Eurasia plate (Bock et al., 2003). The Andaman-Nicobar is part of the northern 180
segment of the Sunda subduction zone and has been considered as a part of the rigid 181
Burma platelet (Curray, 1989; Curray, 1979). Studies on SPOT images (Avouac and 182
Tapponnier, 1993), Quaternary fault slip rates (Philip and Peter, 1997) and geodetic 183
measurements (Bock et al., 2003; Michel et al., 2001; Simons et al., 1999) show Sunda 184
block behaves as rigid plate with significant east to south-east motion relative to Eurasia. 185
However, studies (McCaffrey, 1991; McCaffrey et al., 2000) have shown that this sliver 186
plate should not be considered as rigid. Our analysis of Andaman stations with reference 187
to Eurasia (Altamimi et al., 2007) shows minimum residual velocities for Europe, Central 188
Asia and South China permanent stations (Figure 3) but high residuals for stations at 189
Malayasian peninsula (NTUS) and one station at south China (SHAO). The high residual 190
of SHAO with high velocity uncertainty ( Table 2) indicate GPS velocity error rather than 191
non-rigid plate processes (Sella et al., 2002). But velocities associated with NTUS, BITI 192
and Andaman stations with low uncertainty indicate that the south-eastern extension of 193
Eurasia plate (Sunda shelf) is under the conditions of high internal deformation. 194
Interestingly, the azimuth of NTUS residual moved from ENE direction before 2004 195
earthquake (Bock et al., 2003) to SW direction during the post-seismic adjustments. 196
Under Eurasia fixed condition, the velocity vectors at Andaman region represent the 197
influence of Indian plate over Andaman along with the movement due to non-rigid 198
processes. Here, the azimuth of velocity were similar to that of ITRF2005 velocities with 199
a marked increase in eastern component. This was due to lowering of Indian plate 200
velocity towards east under Eurasia fixed frame. Except Havlock island, as we move 201
from south to north, the northern vergence of velocity vector increases and it becomes 202
almost trench parallel at North Andaman indicating the dominance of Indian plate over 203
Sunda towards north. 204
4.3 Motion relative to India Reference Frame 205
The oceanic part of the Indian plate is subducting below the Andaman Arakan 206
trench. Andaman region has largely accreted to the Indian plate along this trench. Our 207
GPS velocity shows that the sites at Andaman (ABAY, RDNR, KRTG, PDNP, KUNR, 208
BARA, STKI, CDPT, BDNB, DLGJ, HVLK and HBAY) were converging towards India 209
(Figure 4) with a mean rate of -79.44 1.41 E mm/yr and 26.58 1.24 N mm/yr. As 210
we move from south to north, the India fixed velocity gradually decrease from 118.39 211
mm/yr (HBAY) to 50.41 mm/yr (ABAY). 212
The deformation in the crust is primarily governed by boundary conditions. On the 213
scale of plate tectonics, the boundary conditions include the relative movement of the 214
plates involved (Fossen and Tikoff, 1998). We have seen from earlier sections that the 215
velocity of obducted Andaman region is highly influenced by the subducting India plate. 216
Thus velocity of Andaman relative to India will give maximum information on 217
deformation pattern at Andaman. The obliquity of velocity vectors with trench varies 218
between 53.9
o
to 73.6
o
. This oblique convergence of Andaman Islands towards 219
subduction zone implies that the subduction zone is under transpression. 220
4.4 Factorizing Transpression 221
To explore the post-seismic neotectonics of Andaman region we examine the strain 222
rates from our GPS derived velocities. Strain analysis has been carried out on 223
displacement gradient by modified least squares approach (Shen and Jackson, 2000; 224
Shen et al., 1996) using grid strain package (Teza et al., 2008). The computations were 225
made in each node at 15 km interval following a regular X
1
Y
1
-grid pattern. Since in 226
comparison to the total finite strain that has accumulated in the region over a period of 227
nearly 59 Ma our period of strain calculation is infinitesimally small, we assume our 228
strain represents infinitesimal strain. For defining the infinitesimal strain axes (ISA) eigen 229
values and eigen vectors are calculated from strain tensors. Figure 5 shows the plot of 230
eigen vectors proportional to the corresponding eigen values. Maximum and minimum 231
stretching vectors are shown in blue (
max
) and red (
min
) lines respectively. The
max
232
component gradually increases northerly from Little Andaman upto South Andaman and 233
then again gradually lowers till north of North Andaman. Though there is no marked 234
change in
min
values, the
min
/
max
ratio attains high values towards north. The 235
infinitesimal strain field is clearly heterogeneous, implying that the rate of transpression 236
is spatially variable over the area. 237
Such a transpression zone is best modelled by heterogeneous transpression (Robin 238
and Cruden, 1994). In this model the different parameters of the infinitesimal strain 239
matrix have been derived on the assumption that the zone has a fixed width and is 240
subjected to a bulk pure and simple shear strain along its boundaries. It is not possible to 241
model transpression in Andaman along this line because, 242
a) the width of the transpression zone is not known; and 243
b) the available data on velocity vector actually allows us to calculate the strain at 244
different points within the zone and not the bulk strain. 245
In view of the limitations discussed above we first attempt to factorize the 246
transpression into infinitesimal pure and simple shear in a horizontal plane. Following the 247
model discussed by Sanderson and Marchini (Sanderson and Marchini, 1984), we assume 248
that there is no extension parallel to the plate boundaries because there is hardly any 249
normal fault striking perpendicular to the subduction zone boundary. In fact, all normal 250
faults recorded from the area are oblique to the plate boundaries and are nearly 251
orthogonal to the maximum stretching directions of the instantaneous strain ellipses. 252
Since in the present case we are essentially dealing with infinitesimal strain we 253
apply sequential addition of simple and pure shear components to arrive at the final 254
deformation matrix. The final deformation matrix due to such a sequential addition of 255
infinitesimal simple and pure shear is given as, 256
D =
(

+
h
h

1 0
1
(1) 257
where,
h
and
h
represent infinitesimal longitudinal and shear strain components parallel 258
to Y
1
and X
1
axes of a two dimensional horizontal reference frame. To derive the two 259
strain components at different points in Andaman and its adjoining areas we apply the 260
following equations (Jaeger, 1964), 261
( )
2
B A+ =( )
2 2
2
h h
+ + .(2) 262
( )
2 2 2
h h
B A + = .(3) 263
where, A and B represent major and minor axes of the total strain ellipse. Simplifying 264
equations (2) and (3) we get, 265
( ) ( ) { } + = + = + 1 4 1
2 2
B A B A
h
, and,...(4) 266
where, is dilation. 267
Now, replacing
h
in eq.(3) by we get 268
( )
2 2 2
h
B A + = . (5a) 269
Replacing by (AB-1)and rearranging we get, 270
( ) ( ) { }
2 2
1 = AB B A
h
.(5) 271
In case of a subduction zone, however, it would be more appropriate to express 272
the total infinitesimal strain in terms of simple inclined transpression model (Jones et al., 273
2004). This is achieved by considering a three dimensional Cartesian reference frame, 274
whose XY plane is coplanar with the deformation zone dipping at an angle . Let the X- 275
axis in this inclined reference frame coincide with the X
1
axis of the horizontal reference 276
system. 277
According to the simple inclined transpression model, any general deformation in 278
the inclined 3D- reference frame can be factorized into pure shears parallel to Y- and Z- 279
axes (
y
and
z
respectively) and simple shears parallel to X- and Z axes (
x
and
z
280
respectively). The model assumes that there is no stretch parallel to X. Expressing the 281
components of pure and simple shear in terms of
h
and
h
we get, 282
( )
h z y
+ = =

1
1
, .. (6) 283

Sin
h
xy
= , and (7) 284

Cot
Cot
h
yz
= , (8) 285
where is the angle measured on the horizontal plane between the shear zone boundary 286
and the shortening direction. 287
We also know (Jones et.al, 2004) that, 288
.
1
h
h
yz
Cot

+
= .(8a) 289
Equating the r.h.s of eq.(8) and (8a) and rearranging, we get, 290

h
h
h
Cot

+
=
1
. . (9) 291
Since in our case,
h
is already known from eq.(5) we rearrange eq.(9) as, 292

( )
h
h h
Cot

+
=
1
, .. (9a) 293
which can be used to obtain the shortening direction at different points over Andaman 294
Islands. 295
From lithospheric configuration of the Benioff zone in the plate subduction 296
regime of Andaman-Sumatra region it has been found that the subducting Indian plate 297
below Andaman dips between 50
o
to 56
o
(Mukhopadhyay et al., 2009). Taking 52.6 as 298
the average angle of dip and replacing it for , all the four components of strain can be 299
easily evaluated. 300
According to Jones et al.(2004), total strain due to simple inclined transpression is given 301
as, 302
D
1
=
|
|
|

\
|
1
0
0 0
0 1
y y zy
y
y xy


. (10) 303
Since in our case all strain components in D
1
would represent infinitesimal strain, 304
subtracting a unit matrix from D
1
we get, 305
d
1
=
|
|
|

\
|

1 0
0 1 0
0 0
1
y zy y
y
xy y


,..(11) 306
where d
1
represents the components of displacement rate or particle velocity in X,Y and 307
Z directions of our reference frame. 308
We next derive from eq.(11) the three dimensional kinematic vorticity number or 309
W
k
(Trusdel, 1953) as, 310
W
k
=
( ) ( )
2 2 2
2
2
2 2
1
1
1 2
xy zy y
y
y
xy zy y


+ +
(
(

\
|
+
+
. .(12) 311
Replacing the different terms in eq.(12) by their corresponding expressions given in (eq.6 312
to eq.9a) we get W
k
at different points over Andaman Islands and its adjoining areas. 313
314
Spatial variation in
y
,

z
,

xy
and
zy
in and around Andaman Islands are shown 315
graphically in Figure-6. It is observed that all the four components gradually increase 316
towards north and south from South Andaman. 317
W
k
calculated at different points over the Andaman Islands varies from 1 near 318
south Andaman to 0.5 near north Andaman and to 0.6 near Little Andaman (Figure-7). 319
The pattern of variation in W
k
implies that south Andaman is subjected to simple shear 320
alone. As pure shear component gradually increases towards both south and north of 321
South Andaman, the W
k
value is modified accordingly. 322
The calculated values of for all the grid points in Andaman region is 323
graphically represented in Figure-8. It shows that is zero around South Andaman and 324
gradually attains higher values towards North and Little Andaman. Since from GPS data 325
South Andaman is known to be moving WSW (Figure-4), we can fix the origin of our 326
coordinate system on the trench axis at such a position where on orienting the X-axis 327
parallel to WSW displacement vector it closely coincides with the trench axis as well 328
(Figure-8). Apparently, such a position is only available near the easterly bend of the 329
subduction zone, north of North Andaman. It implies that this part of the subduction zone 330
around Andaman, is under active transpression at present. 331
The higher angle of convergence in and around Little Andaman is probably related 332
to the presence of a spreading centre in Andaman Sea (Raju et al., 2004), which is 333
forcing the plate to move northwards. This point, however, needs further evaluation 334
because our conclusion is based on observation at a single point only. 335
336
337
5 Discussion 338
The ITRF2005 velocity field obtained from GPS surveys show trench perpendicular 339
azimuth of velocity vector at Little Andaman, which gradually rotates in a clockwise 340
sense and at North Andaman it becomes almost parallel to the trench axis. This indicates 341
non-rigidity of Burma plate (McCaffrey et al., 2000). Similar along-arc change in GPS 342
velocity azimuths at Sumatra subduction zone was observed before the 2004 earthquake 343
(Prawirodirdjo et al., 1997) and at Andaman islands after the earthquake (Paul et al., 344
2007). 345
The azimuthal variations of velocity vectors represent non-uniform deformation 346
pattern in Andaman Islands. Oblique convergence of Indian plate with South East Asia, 347
decomposes the motion into arc-parallel and arc-normal components (Fitch, 1972) 348
resulting in a combination of simple shear (wrench) component and a simultaneous 349
coaxial shortening component leading to transpressional deformation (Fossen and Tikoff, 350
1998). 351
Geometry of the plate margin and degree of obliquity of velocity vectors have major 352
effects on the resultant deformation (Beck, 1991; McCaffrey, 1992). The present analysis 353
shows Indian plate (HYDE GPS station) is moving towards N 35
0
E at a rate of 54 354
mm/yr. Angle of convergence of this velocity varies from 49
0
near Little Andaman to 28
0
355
around North Andaman. Available seismotectonic sections of Andaman region (Ghosh 356
and Mishra, 2008; Mukhopadhyay et al., 2009; Roy, 1992) show the subducting plate is 357
moderately dipping towards east. The oblique convergence between the easterly dipping 358
Indian plate and the Andaman Islands, resolves the horizontal components along strike 359
and dip of the trench. The resultant combination of oblique simple shear and pure shear 360
components is modeled according to the simple inclined transpression model (Jones et 361
al., 2004). 362
In the inclined transpression model the three dimensional kinematic vorticity number 363
varies between 0.5 to 1 implying variability of simple shear and pure shear components. 364
The increment in pure shear towards north is possibly due to, 365
i) east ward bend of the subduction interface; and 366
ii) the already ruptured portion of the trench offers little resistance to slip. 367
Gradual rise in pure shear towards Little Andaman is probably due to the spreading ridge 368
at Andaman sea (Raju et al., 2004). 369
The convergence between Greater India and Asia was approximately normal at Late 370
Paleocene. Afterwards, clockwise rotation of Greater India plate initiated oblique 371
convergence in Sunda arc, which has gradually increased till present (Curray, 2005). The 372
present study also indicates clockwise variation in velocity vectors in Andaman region. 373
Oblique convergence, clockwise rotation and increased convexity of the trench near 374
North Andaman enhance the transpressional activities more towards north. 375
The 2004 mega earthquake has already ruptured ~1500 km (Banerjee et al., 376
2007)between Sumatra and North Andaman (Ghosh and Mishra, 2008). The portion that 377
ruptured during the earthquake does not allow much accumulation of strain. However, 378
beyond the rupture zone the strain continues to accumulate. The process is likely to 379
continue till failure takes place through a major earthquake. 380
In view of the facts mentioned above it may be concluded that north of North 381
Andaman is a potential zone for high magnitude earthquakes. 382
Figure 7 shows the focal plane solution of earthquakes that have occurred in the 383
region (www.globalcmt.org) after 26
th
December, 2004 and before August, 2009. The 384
distribution of earthquake pattern clearly shows concentration of fault activity around 385
North Andaman and Little Andaman. 386
387
6 Acknowledgements 388
The authors express their deep sense of gratitude to Late Sri A. K. Ghosh Roy, 389
Director, Earthquake Geology Division, GSI, ER, who was the key man for formulating 390
the project and establishment of GPS stations at Andaman Islands. They are also indebted 391
to the Deputy Director General, Geological Survey of India, Eastern Region for 392
permitting to publish the work. Authors thankfully acknowledge Dr Bob King, Principal 393
Scientist, MIT for assistance in GAMIT/GLOBK analysis. Andaman administration, 394
Andaman Public Works Department (APWD) and local residents are thankfully 395
acknowledged for extending their support during GPS data collection. 396
397
7 References 398
399
Acharyya, S.K., Ray, K.K. and Roy, D.K., 1989. Tectonostratigraphy and emplacement 400
history of the ophiolite assemblage from Naga Hills and Andaman Island arc, 401
India, Journal Geological Society of India 33, 4-18. 402
Altamimi, Z., Collilieux, X., Legrand, J., Garayt, B. and Boucher, C., 2007. ITRF2005: A 403
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Figure captions 565
566
Figure: 1 Velocity of global reference stations at ITRF2005 reference frame derived
from the present analysis.

Figure: 2 ITRF2005 velocity of Andaman sites. Base map shows Andaman geology
compiled after Ghosh Roy et al.,(Ghosh Roy et al., 2007)

Figure: 3 Velocity relative to Eurasia reference frame. Inset for stations at Andaman .

Figure: 4 Velocity relative to India reference frame.

Figure:5 Strain components from GPS velocity vectors. Blue lines for
max
and red
lines for
min
. Bold lines for trench and active faults and dotted lines for
inactive faults.

Figure: 6 Modeled infinitesimal strain components for inclined transpression at
Andaman. (a) Longitudinal strain along y-direction, (b) Longitudinal strain
along z-direction, (c) shear strain in xy-plane, (d) shear strain in yz-plane
Figure: 7 Variation of 3-D infinitesimal kinematical vorticity number with focal plane
solution of earthquakes occurred between 2004 mega-earthquake and
August, 2009.

Figure: 8 Variation of angle in the horizontal plane between the subduction zone
boundary and the direction of overall shortening with defined coordinate
system. Arrow shows India fixed velocity azimuth of BDNB station at South
Andaman.
Table captions 567
568
Table-1 Details of GPS campaign stations used in analysis

Table-2 Station coordinates, observed velocities, residuals and uncertainties
569