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International Research Center Garni


Development of Project on the Establishment of Garni International Earth Science Research Center

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • OBS-GEO/Geology/Other Basic Sciences
  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Rudneva V Ya

Leading Institute
Institute of Geological Sciences, Armenia, Yerevan


  • Universite Montpellier II, France, Montpellier\nUniversita Degli Studi di Bari, Italy, Bari\nNASA / Ames Research Center, USA, CA, Moffett Field\nNational Observatory of Athens / Institute of Geodynamics, Greece, Athens

Project summary

An assessment of the natural hazard within the territory of one state is isolated and thus incomplete. In most cases, the scale and parameters of new strong earthquakes appear to perge from the expected values drastically, and, therefore, lead to a re-assessment of the seismic hazard level. Each of nine strong earthquakes that occurred during 1948-1995 in the USSR (later in CIS) forced considerable re-estimation and increase of the seismic hazard level (Arefiev, 2001). Similar problems arose after the strong earthquakes in Armenia (Spitak, 1988), Turkey (Chaldiran, 1976; Izmit, 1999) and Georgia (Racha, 1991).

The lack of awareness of the populations and governments about the natural hazard in own and neighboring countries, as well as inadequate apprehension of the hazard, is another factor that hinders mutual understanding between Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. In this respect, large industrial facilities cause the greatest concern, since damage of these structures may be hazardous for all countries in the region. Oilfields in the Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan), trans-regional oil pipelines (Azerbaijan, Georgia), a nuclear power plant (Armenia), large chemical plants, dams and water reservoirs (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) form a list of such structures that is by no means exhaustive. The trans-boundary nature of active faults, and of the accompanying seismic and volcanic hazards, calls for trans-boundary cooperation in the study, assessment and mitigation of natural risk in the region. Extension of this trans-boundary cooperation over the Caucasus – Central Asia region, and involvement under this project of researchers from scientific centers of Tajikistan, Kirgizia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia, is an important potential.

Factors important for such trans-boundary cooperation include creation of joint information networks, cooperative research, and joint training of younger reserachers, undergraduates and post-graduate students from the countries in the region with participation of partners from USA, EU and other countries.

Development of a plan for such cooperation, involving establishment of an International Research Center on the basis of Garni Underground Geophysical Observatory in Armenia is the principal aim of the proposed project.

The objectives of the International Research Center are:

- conduct a wide range of fundamental studies and experimental research in the field of Earth Science;
- become a link between scientific research and its application to risk mitigation;
- disseminate low-cost technologies in order to multiply the monitoring spots in active zones;
- draft and implement the strategy of development, principles and policies, and legal regulations of the regional work concerning Earth Sciences and setting up professional standards for Earth Science;
- draw up national plans for disaster prevention and reduction for region countries;
- participate in international efforts toward a ban on nuclear testing with concurrent seismological, radionuclide and infrasound monitoring in the framework of CTBTO;
- conduct regular seminars and workshops on the various aspects of the physics and dynamics of the Earth, its natural and artificial satellites and their specific interactions with the atmosphere;
- improved knowledge and training in the field of disaster preparation, prevention and reduction of damages and loss of lives;
- develop and conduct training programs for young scientists and students in geodynamics (tectonic formations and movements liable to trigger off earthquakes);
- develop and conduct various educational courses for young scientists and students, training in the field of advanced science and technology applications, as well as methodological innovations in the Earth Science;
- develop and conduct training addressing cultural heritage protection in risk-prone areas.

According to these objectives the main tasks of the Project are:

1) Definition of the principal tasks and status, and drafting the charter of the Garni International Research Center;

2) Development of a preliminary project on the Establishment of the Garni International Earth Sciences Research Center;

3) Preparing and holding a Workshop in cooperation with foreign collaborators and interested institutions to consider and discuss the preliminary project on the Establishment of International Earth Sciences Research Center in Garni;

4) Search for, and identification of national and international organizations, funds, sponsors and donor institutions, private companies, and persons to provide logistics and financial support in the implementation of the Project on the Establishment of the Garni International Earth Sciences Research Center;

5) Preparation of a Working Plan for the stage-by-stage implementation of the Project on the Establishment of International Earth Sciences Research Center in Garni and presentation of this Plan to the interested national and international organizations, funds, private companies, and persons.

The Project will be implemented by the Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (IGS NASA) with involvement of leading specialists from:

Institute of Geophysics and Engineering Seismology (Armenia);
National Survey for Seismic Protection (Armenia);
GEORISK Closed Joint-Stock Scientific Research Company (Armenia);
Yerevan State University (Armenia);
State Engineering University (Armenia);
Institute of Geology of the Georgian Academy of Sciences;
Institute of Geology of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan;
Institute of Seismology under the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan.

The implementation of this Project supposes involvement of scientists from leading scientific centers in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Black Sea and Caspian region countries, as well as partners from Europe, America and Asia.

Contribution from the institutions listed above will help to:

- restore old links and establish new contacts between scientists, decision-makers and practitioners of the region, exchange the experience accumulated in the field of Earth Science;
- set up mechanisms to transcend national borders and integrate the works;
- approve of a plan for joint actions under middle-term and long-term programs for natural risk reduction in the region;
- create a joint bank of archived, spatial, and ground data;
- define basic mechanisms to present the knowledge accumulated by scientists and improve the practice of risk mitigation;
- ensure economic sustainability and social stability in the countries of the region in case of emergency situations.

The project will provide opportunities for weapon scientists and engineers to redirect their knowledge and skills to peaceful activities.

Taking into account the regional importance of the Project, and necessity of binding national commitments to internationally agreed standards for international center management, it is the intention of the project participants and collaborators to involve the colleagues from Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran as large as possible through funding sources beyond the ISTC.

Finally, the participants believe that collaboration undertaken to address creation of an international center through the establishment of this project shall serve a model for other collaborative efforts among the other parties in the region.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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