The SAFER Geodatabase for the Kathmandu Valley: geotechnical and geological variability

Charlotte E. L. Gilder, Rama Mohan Pokhrel, Paul J. Vardanega, Flavia De Luca, Raffaele De Risi, Maximilian J. Werner, Domniki Asimaki, Prem Nath Maskey, Anastasios Sextos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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The Kathmandu Valley is within a seismically active region and only few recorded strong motion data are available for the region. Geophysical information in the valley is very sparse. Additionally, the absence of an open database which compiles in situ geophysical tests, borehole records and geotechnical laboratory data is preventing the advancement of knowledge in the region. This paper presents SAFER/GEO-591 database, named after the EPSRC funded project Seismic Safety and Resilience of Schools in Nepal (SAFER). SAFER/GEO-591 contains data from groundwater wells and boreholes originally commissioned for research and commercial purposes. This work discusses (i) the quality assessment and harmonization process conducted on the dataset, (ii) shear-wave velocity (Vs) measurements and geotechnical parameters with depth and elevation in the Valley, (iii) a review of the current understanding of the Valley sediment/bedrock topography, and lastly (iv) new geological cross sections. A companion paper presents an updated VS30 map across the Valley based on the contributions of this paper. The database can be freely downloaded from the University of Bristol Repository via DOI:
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549–1569
Number of pages21
JournalEarthquake Spectra
Issue number3
Early online date6 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • geodatabase
  • Nepal
  • boreholes
  • shear-wave velocity
  • VS30


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