What is the National Centre for Seismology (NCS)?

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What is the National Centre for Seismology (NCS)? Blog Image


An earthquake of magnitude 3.9 hit Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district recently, as reported by the National Centre for Seismology.

About National Centre for Seismology (NCS)

  • NCS is the nodal agency of the Government of India for monitoring of earthquake activity and conducts seismological research in the country. 
  • It is an attached office of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MOES). .
  • The NCS monitors earthquake activity all across the country through its 24×7 round-the-clock monitoring center for better understanding of earthquake source processes and their effect on the cause of earthquake-safe society.
  • It consists of various divisions:
    • Earthquake Monitoring and Services
    • Earthquake Hazard and Risk Assessments
    • Geophysical Observation Systems
  • It operates and maintains the NSN, or the National Seismological Network. The NSN consists of 153 seismological observatories spread across the country.
    • NSN is capable of recording earthquakes and events of magnitude (M)≥2.5 in and around Delhi, M≥3.0 for the North East (NE) region, M≥3.5 in the peninsular and extra-peninsular areas, and M≥4.0 in border regions. 
  • Whenever an earthquake occurs in the country, its information is immediately disseminated by NCS to a variety of user agencies, including disaster management authorities. 
    • The NCS shares this information via earthquake bulletins within five minutes of an earthquake.
  • It is also involved in the monitoring of aftershock and swarm activity, if occurred, throughout the country.
  • Another important activity implemented by the NCS is microzonation. It is a site-specific study that provides a more realistic and reliable representation of ground motion characteristics.
    • It is useful in land use and urban planning, as well as in retrofitting of existing buildings. 

Q1) What is an Earthquake?

An earthquake is the sudden release of strain energy in the Earth’s crust, resulting in waves of shaking that radiate outwards from the earthquake source. When stresses in the crust exceed the strength of the rock, it breaks along lines of weakness, either a pre-existing or new fault plane. The point where an earthquake starts is termed the focus or hypocentre and may be many kilometers deep within the earth. The point at the surface directly above the focus is called the earthquake epicenter.

Source: Magnitude 3.9 earthquake hits Kishtwar in J&K