Dr. Prantik Mandal

Chief Scientist , Seismological Imaging

Dr. Prantik Mandal


Academic Identity


Observational Seismology

Research Area

Dr. Prantik Mandal, who was born in 1965, received his M.Sc. (tech) in Applied Geophysics from the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, before entering CSIR-NGRI for a PhD programme in 1989. He joined CSIR-NGRI as Scientist-B in 1994, after completing his PhD at CSIR-NGRI, which was conferred by Osmania University in Hyderabad. He advanced to the position of Chief Scientist in 2015.

Academic and Research Achievements: Dr. Prantik Mandal made significant contributions to the understanding of earthquake genesis and geodynamics in different parts of the Indian subcontinent. He delineated three NNE-SSW trending lithospheric transverse features in the Uttarakhand Himalaya, dividing the region into three major lithospheric blocks and reducing seismic hazards in the Himalayas. In addition, he used block-and-fault dynamics modelling to simulate the maximum hazard in the central Himalayan GAP area and the minimum hazard in Kashmir and Assam. In Kachchh, he convincingly demonstrated the role of mafic crustal plutons and significant crustal and lithospheric thinning as key stress concentrators, with earthquake triggering caused by stress-transfer mechanisms and fluid or volatile CO2 flow mechanisms. He built a 3-D ground motion model, a site amplification map, a sediment thickness map, and attenuation models for the Kachchh rift basin, which resulted in the region's first integrated disaster mitigation approach. His research demonstrated that Archean vertical tectonics dominated crust formation in the Eastern Indian Craton. His research produced a rupture nucleation model of moderate-sized reservoir-triggered earthquakes, which provided a satisfactory explanation for Koyna's ongoing seismicity since 1961. Using 3-D stress modelling, he also quantified the role of topographic variations and density inhomogeneities in the genesis of Indian intraplate earthquakes. He possesses a total of 140 scientific research articles and has received 3296 citations, resulting in an h-index of 35 and an i-index of 86. Under his expert guidance, a total of seven students have successfully obtained their Doctor of Philosophy degrees in the field of geophysics, specifically in seismology. In addition, he authored two books and contributed to three book chapters.

Other Contributions: The research conducted in the Koyna region led to the development of the rupture nucleation model for moderate-size reservoir-driven earthquakes. According to this model, the ruptures or foreshocks originate at a depth of 3 km and propagate downward, resulting in bigger main shocks at depths of 8–10 km. This model has been patented by the USPTO.

Awards and Honors: He has been honoured with multiple accolades, including the National Mineral Award in 2007 and the CSIR YS award in 2000, for his notable contributions to earthquake seismology, specifically focusing on the comprehension of seismogenesis of intraplate earthquakes in India. In 2004, he was awarded a CSIR Raman Fellowship, followed by a Senior DAAD fellowship in 2010 and an INSA-JSPS fellowship in 2011. He was elected a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (FNA) in 2024, the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad (FNASc) in 2020, and the Telangana Academy of Sciences (FTAS) in 2018.