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Seismic Monitoring of Tajikistan


Complex Geophysical Monitoring of Seismic Active Tajikistan Republic Regions

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • ENV-SEM/Seismic Monitoring/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Tajik Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tajikistan, Dushanbe

Supporting institutes

  • MIFI, Russia, Moscow\nUral Branch of RAS / Institute of Geophysics, Russia, Sverdlovsk reg., Ekaterinburg


  • Oakton International Corporation (OIC), USA, VA, Oakton\nGeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Germany, Potsdam

Project summary

The project purpose is the geophysical medium properties change mechanisms research at seism tectonic processes, particularly by earthquakes preparation on the basis of complex geophysical system monitoring data.

Earthquake is rather complex natural phenomenon and despite of the certain progress in geophysical science development, many aspects of this phenomenon have not found a due explanation till now. By present time a lot of collected data to the effect that seism tectonic processes cause geophysical fields anomalies. These anomalies give a good basis for earthquakes forecasting. However the earthquakes forecast probability according to measurements of single physical magnitudes (fluids outlet local anomalies, subsoil waters level, earth's crust inclinations and deformations, magnetic field and so on) remains unsatisfactorily low. Especially it concerns to short-term forecast. Besides at earthquakes reproducibility of single physical magnitudes anomalies is not observed. For more complete understanding of the earthquakes nature the carrying out of the geophysical medium parameters whole complex long measurement on big areas for revealing their interrelations, and also earthquakes preparation processes empirical laws, is necessary. Recently the forecasting supervision systems received wide spread occurrence, first of all in the USA, Japan, China and Russia. Their main features are integrated approach and supervision breadth which have allowed to reveal earlier little-known features of geophysical fields abnormal changes interpretive as earthquake precursors.

Within the Project framework it is supposed to carry out long monitoring and to analyze spatial-temporal correlations of geophysical medium parameters at rocks deflected mode change by the example of certain region - Tajikistan Republic forecasting range. Check of the equipment created within the Project framework and rocks behavior mechanisms detection in deep mines is supposed to be carried out at North-Ural bauxite mine.

Practical necessity of project performance on the chosen range is caused by its specific geological-geophysical processes occurring now. Tien Shan which length is 2000 kms and the width is 300-350 km represents the most interesting at global scale laboratory for studying mid-continent orogeny. According to S. Reker's theory (S.Reker. “Geodynamics of Tien Shan mid-continent orogeny”). The International reports articles of “Conversion potential of the Kirghiz Republic and ISTC projects” seminar, 82-90 p., Bishkek, 1998) lithosphere in the central Tien Shan had segregated and now it is on depth of 400 km. Acceleration of deformation has coincided with this segregation that has led to appreciable deformations concentration in Tien Shan. Tien Shan mid-continent condition is not unique for collision mountain belts. Rocky Mountains in the USA West 50-80 million years ago, Amadeus pool in Australia at late Paleozoic time, and also Andes fragments are deformation analogues occurring inside the continent, far from plates borders. Therefore modern Tien Shan and Pamir can be the similar geodynamic processes example. The Tajikistan Republic territory concerns to the most seismic dangerous regions of the Central Asia. Presence of existing seismological supervision stations, tilt meters and deform graph system, a high tectonic activity level and ridge evolution processes uniqueness occurring now make Tien Shan an unique natural laboratory for studying continental dynamics problems.

Pamir occupies almost half of Tajikistan territory. Three peaks exceed 7 thousand meters of height. The region differs by active seism tectonic. The range rises almost for one centimeter per year. Here pass some first order breaks. In 1911 here there was one of the largest earthquakes for last hundred years at Tajikistan territory - Sarez, resulted to a mountainside collapse in volume about 2 km3, Murghab river dam with dike in height about 700 m and lake formation with volume of 17 km3 now. Repeated earthquakes in this area can lead to dam destruction and lead to catastrophic consequences for residing places for people population about 5 million person in five countries: Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Therefore Pamir also represents unique natural laboratory for seism tectonic researches having exclusive importance in scientific and practical aspects.

In Tajikistan Republic there is a big 50-years geophysical works carrying out experience including on widely known Garmsk range where a number of pioneer works, and also the corresponding experimental equipment had been executed. At works performance the data of seismological and geophysical forecasting researches realized at Tajikistan Republic territory, and also the data from gauges which will be established on range with collaborators (GeoForshungZentrum, Postdam) participation will be used. There are long-term supervision series over inclinations and deformations of earth's crust in Tajikistan Republic. Now at Tajikistan Republic territory six tilt meter and deform graph stations work. The certain hydro geochemical monitoring experience in Tajikistan Republic is collected, now three stations - Yavroz, Shaambari and Hodja-Obi-Garm work. It is offered to include also magneto metric supervision 20-years experience which is present also in ACSI of Tajikistan Republic Academy of Sciences. By ACSI employees works it is shown, that in a near zone tectonomagnetic effects duration grows log linearly depending on magnitude of preparing earthquake that gives the basis to relate these anomalies to intermediate term harbingers (F.H.Karimov, The experience of tectonomagnetic researches in Tajikistan, Transactions of Tajikistan Technological university, 7, 2001 issue, 118-133 p.; F.H.Karimov, Tectonomagnetic researches, Transactions of Tajikistan Technological university, 9, 2003 issue, 19-40 p.).

Also the long-term experimental researches in Ural geophysics institute on rock bumps, the skilled-methodical seismological expedition database of NAN seismology institute Tajikistan Republic, and also the results received at performance of ISTC KR-187.2 project in Kirghizia will be used. Experience of autonomous measuring stations development and operation, and also radioactive fluids outlet measurement experience, collected in Moscow Engineering - Physical institute during performance of ISTC KR-187.2 project, will allow to create the reliable equipment, capable long term to work in difficult field conditions.

The analysis of physical processes preceding to Tien Shan and Pamir seismic events in area of monitoring (2-3 geoblocks), will allow to construct a medium evolution model at deflected mode change. The new approach to rocks destruction dynamics the main of which are reported on the incorporated Assembly of the European and American geophysical societies (Nice, France, 2003) (Fedotov S. “Rocks failure as stochastic branching process”), and also a new technique of strain change estimation in rocks depths by deformations on their surfaces developed within the ISTC KR-187.2 project framework, are the base of theoretical researches.

For achievement of problem put by it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

  1. A substantiation of the measuring equipment locations in view of Tajikistan region tectonic faults features.
  2. Development and manufacturing of 8 measuring stations.
  3. Installation of the measuring equipment, including gauges from Germany with collaborators (GeoForshung Zentrum, Postdam) participation.
  4. Geophysical medium parameters behavior regular gathering information.
  5. Carrying out of additional researches in deep mines (depth more than 700 m) on the basis of North-Ural bauxite mine.
  6. Creation of a database subject to the coming in information, and also subject to the retrospective data.
  7. Mathematical data processing.
  8. Carrying out of the geophysical medium single parameters behavior theoretical researches at rocks deflected mode change.
  9. Carrying out of theoretical geophysical medium parameters researches for revealing correlation dependences at earthquake preparation.
  10. The organization of Internet - site for direct access to the researches current results received during project performance for all interested persons and the organizations.

The carried out researches will allow:
  • to receive correlation data series of continuous long geophysical medium parameters measurements at seism tectonic processes;
  • to create a database of Tajikistan region geophysical medium parameters behavior by monitoring results;
  • to develop theoretical model of the geophysical medium behavior at seism tectonic processes, in particular by earthquakes preparation in the Tajikistan region;
  • to take opportunity to specify known seism tectonic processes display mechanisms and to reveal new;
  • to carry out theoretical works for the description of processes preceding to mountain bumps in mines;
  • to develop the highly reliable equipment capable to carry out long geophysical monitoring in difficult field conditions.

The similar complex researches were not carried out as a system at Tajikistan Republic territory and represent significant practical and scientific interest. Tien Shan and Pamir ranges are located in several countries - Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrghizia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and in the Western China. Therefore researches of their seismic activity represent scientific and practical interest for the Central Asia countries, and also for all countries with the increased seismic danger.


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