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Litosphere of Caucasus


The Study of the Structure of the Lithosphere of Caucasus by Means of Surface Wave Tomography and Three-Dimensional Modeling

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-SEM/Seismic Monitoring/Environment
  • 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
Geophysics Institute, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Karlsruhe University / Geophysikalisches Institut, Germany, Karlsruhe\nFriedrich-Schiller-Universitat / Institut fur Geowissenschaften, Germany, Jena

Project summary

Goals of the Project: for the first time in seismological practice, with tomography methods, based on data of the time of the seismic surface waves run going in different directions, from epicenter of strong earthquake up to 24 Caucasian seismic stations, to investigate lateral (horizontal inhomogeneous) structure of lithosphere and Earth upper mantle in the frames of this region. The main experimental material used for decision of this problem by the method of thomography are archival seismic records (seismograms) of surface waves recorded on seismic stations of Georgia and copies of records received on seismic stations of Armenia and Azerbaijan (about 1000 seismograms) in the period from 1955 till 1981. In those research regions where number of seismic stations are limited and resolution of tomographical method is little in order to receive additional information about peculiarities of changes of cynetic characteristics of Rayleigh and Love surface waves, during their propagation in complicated relief of Caucasian region, by the method of three demenssional ultrasonic seismic modeling, should be provided experiments on the geological structures, typical for this task.

Within performance of the project the following results are expected:

  • Construction of tomographical model of lateral inhomogeneous structure of lithosphere and upper mantle of Caucasus based on surface waves.
  • Interpretation of received results together with geological data and with data about structure of upper mantle, obtained by discrepancy of run time of body waves. These data will be received from earthquakes catalogues in frame of project “CauSIN”.
  • Creation of model, which should be “basic” to provide the future monitoring of different blocks of Caucasian lithosphere and to control the changing of physical conditions of environment and characteristics of running on processes. The importance of such monitoring is caused also by beginning of exploitation of Baku - Tbilisi - Ceyhan oil piping.
  • On the grounding of “basic’ tomographical model to arrange in the zone of expected strong earthquakes with the help of field digital seismic station, observation of long-term precursor, and accordingly to widen the network of broadband seismic stations on territory of Georgia
  • To receive information about structure of sedimental basins, to mark out the zones of breaks and to forecast the gas and oil content of upper horizons of earth’s crust;
  • To work out, basing on the received tomographic model, recommendations for optimal locations, of newopened stationer seismic stations;
  • To receive the seismogeologic data, which will be used as additional informative materials by specification maps of seismic zoning and seismic hazard estimation.
  • Creation of digital plant for ultrasonic seismic modeling and development of method of three-dimensional modeling of Love waves in lateral-inhomogeneous media and to receive new data about dynamical and kinematical characteristics of surface waves in lateral-inhomogeneity medium;

Carrying out of the project – an alternative for the scientists which activities in the past was connected with weapon elaboration problems. Participation of scientists from Russia (V. Sergeev - Moscow State University and A. Dergachev - Novosibirsk, Institute of Geology and Geophysics), from Armenia (G. Gevondian - Yerevan Polytechnic Institute) and from “Georgia Oil-Geophysics” (G. Kadagidze) in the Project should further the renovation of scientific relations and collaboration of leader seismologists from USA and Germany should provide the high level of expected results. (There supporting collaborator letterheads are attached, see appendix. 12.1);

The grounding of successful realization of the project are high scientific and methodological potential of participants, existing wide achieves with seismic records and “pioneer” experience of experimenters on surface waves three-dimensional seismic modeling.


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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