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Monitoring and Prediction of Seismotectonic Processes


Using of Research Potential in the Field of Aviation Technologies for Modeling, Monitoring, and Prediction of Seismotectonic Processes

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences
  • PHY-SSP/Solid State Physics/Physics
  • INF-COM/High Performance Computing and Networking/Information and Communications
  • SAT-AER/Aeronautics/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Rudneva V Ya

Leading Institute
Research Institute of Aviation Systems, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • IIEPT (Earthquake Prediction), Russia, Moscow


  • Tokai University / Earthquake Prediction Research Center / RIKEN International Frontier Project on Eathquake Research, Japan, Tokai\nUniversita' Degli Studi di Trieste / Dipartimento di Scienze Della Terra, Italy, Trieste\nHanyang University / Seismological Institute, Korea, Kyonggi-do\nInstitut de Physique du Globe, France, Paris\nPurdue University, USA, IN, West Lafayette

Project summary

Understanding the precursory mechanism of large earthquakes and possible mitigation of the damage due to them calls for extensive studies in regional seismicity, a quantitative assessment of its time-dependent parameters and seismic risk.

Another task that faces instrumental regional seismic monitoring, and a very urgent one at present, is a comprehensive monitoring of illegal underground nuclear tests banned by international treaties.

In view of the great number of earthquakes occurring daily in many seismic source regions that are frequently inaccessible areas, the recording and analysis of these requires creation of mobile automated seismic data acquisition and storage systems operating in near real time. In the last decade the focus of research in seismology has been on this problem.

A satellite-based seismic monitoring system has been developed and successfully tested by specialists at the International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences (MITP RAN as abbreviated in Russian) and in the State Institute of Aviation Systems Research (GosNIIAS), Ministry of Economy of Russian Federation within ISTC Project 415/96 previously supported by ISTC. Concurrently with this work, a package of algorithms and programs for automated data processing of seismic observations made by the system was being developed within the same project.

The present Project is a follow-up of previous research in Project 415/96; it is designed to develop a satellite-based seismic monitoring system consisting of a small aperture mobile array of 3-D broadband seismic stations with a view to:

· reducing the magnitude cutoff of recorded seismic events to reach M=2.5 at epicentral distances below 2000 km and M=3.5 for teleseismic events in the frequency band of interest in seismology (10-3 to 40 Hz).
· recording and storing strong ground motion waveforms with maximum possible amplitudes up to those produced by M>8.5 earthquakes and a total dynamic amplitude range of at least 180 – 190 dB.
· automated processing of recorded seismic data in near real time.
· discrimination between explosions and earthquakes.
· fast transmission of necessary seismic data via a satellite link across practically unlimited distances to an Interpretation Center.

The future small aperture seismic array is to have low costs of deployment and self-contained operation, even in hardly accessible areas having increased occurrence probability of large earthquakes.

This small satellite-aided seismic array can be the nucleus of future networks for rapid monitoring of global seismicity, detection and discrimination of underground nuclear explosions, as well as for research in the physics of the Earth and deep earth structure.

The present project is to serve the leading purposes of the ISTC, namely, converting weapons scientists and specialists, those developing military aviation systems in our case, to peaceful research in environment protection; contributing toward the solution of international problems such as the monitoring of compliance with international underground nuclear test ban treaties; inducing Russian weapons researchers to be integrated into the international community.

The execution of the present project is envisaged to involve the solution of a set of specific research and technological tasks in the development of inpidual functional units making up the satellite-based automated rapid seismic monitoring system, such as:

· development of an array consisting of three or four seismic outstations equipped with three-component broadband seismic sensors that are telecommunication-connected and synchronized with the central station of the array;
· development of a central seismic station equipped with a superbroadband three-component seismometer and a strong motion accelerometer;
· development of a satellite-based receiving-transmitting complex;
· development of a package of optimal statistical algorithms and programs for automated data processing of observations made at a small aperture seismic array.

The research results obtained for the project are to be presented at international symposiums and published in leading geophysical journals.

MITP RAN has close scientific contacts with numerous research organizations in Japan, U.S.A., Belgium, Norway, Germany, France, Italy and other countries; the previous successful cooperation experience in joint international projects will be used in the execution of the present Project.

The work for this Project can be roughly subpided into several lines of study, each with certain methodological approaches peculiar to it.

These lines of study include the problems arising in the development of a seismometric measuring complex, a computerized seismic data acquisition and storage system, development of algorithms and the relevant software for fast automated seismic data processing at the measurement site in near real time; and lastly, the development of a ground-based satellite-aided receiving-transmitting communication complex.

The solution of the above problems will involve, along with conventional methods in use for the design of geophysical instrumentation and seismic data processing techniques, also techniques that are in fact rather similar to these, namely, techniques and technologies used in the development of air navigation systems and methods for telemetric testing of strategic bombers and missiles.

On the whole, the scientific and technical merits of this Project and its novelty consist in certain features such as:

1. The equipment and software enable detection and estimation of the parameters of low-amplitude seismic signals extending as far as the production of a seismic-event bulletin in near real time based on data coming from a single seismic array.

2. The array sensors are very broadband seismometers with a large dynamic range now being developed at MITP. Apart from the reception of regional and teleseismic signals these seismometers will ensure high fidelity recording of strong ground motions, which enables an array of such seismometers to be used for recording aftershocks around the epicenter of a large earthquake. Besides, these seismometers can record rotational ground motion in addition to translational motion, which will enable reconstruction of true motion fields beneath the seismometer.

3. Digital data will be transmitted from array sensors to the Processing Center via telemetric radio channels in real time. Signals processing and preparation of the bulletin will be carried out by a computer data acquisition system installed at the central seismic station of the small aperture array. The seismic bulletin and seismograms that contain records of seismic events are to be transmitted to the Seismicity Monitoring and Earthquake Prediction Center set up at MITP RAN in batch transmission mode using the INMARSAT international satellite-based communication system via a cheap satellite communication channel at a rate of 64 KBauds.

4. The communication equipment and software that will transmit data from seismic sensors to the data acquisition system residing at the central seismic station and to the Moscow Seismic Monitoring and Earthquake Prediction Center are to be based on the military know-how developed at GosNIIAS for use in strategic and tactical air forces.

5. The small aperture seismic array is to be deployed for experimental operation on the northern coast of the Caspian Sea in an area furnished (and protected) by GosNIIAS. This choice of region will allow Caucasian and Kopet-Dag seismicity to be recorded at regional distances using the array, as well as to locate seismic events occurring in areas of Central Asia such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and India and to find the cutoff magnitude of complete reporting for these events.

6. Taken as a whole, the project envisages the creation of technology for regional seismic monitoring entirely based on exclusively Russian developments in the areas of seismic instrumentation, telemetric and satellite communication and the software for seismic data processing. This technology will provide a cheaper alternative for development of seismic instrumentation in Russia compared with the monitoring systems in use abroad. The feasibility of this Project is guaranteed by available components for a seismic monitoring system developed by MITP RAN and GosNIIAS in the course of the previous ISTC project 415 (very broadband seismometers, components of telemetric and satellite-based communication systems, algorithmic and software basis for seismic data processing).


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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