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Ecological Survey for Seismic Forecasts


Research of Geodinamic Settings and Ecoseismochemical Prediction of Earthquakes

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-SEM/Seismic Monitoring/Environment
  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
ARAKS JSC, Armenia, Yerevan


  • Laboratory of Global Tectonics and Metallogeny, Department of Chemistry, The American University, USA, DC, Washington\nInternational Institute of Seismology and Earthquake, Engineering Building Research Institute, Japan, Tsukuba

Project summary

The purpose of the Project is to develop long-term and short-term prediction of earthquakes, which would be done in such a context for the first time. Virtually it is a new problem, which is to be considered from the viewpoint of revealing of interrelations between retrospective-and-reconstructed geodynamic settings of convergent systems, using new data obtained from ecoseismochemical studies aimed at the classification of earthquakes' natural areas.

It should be noted that in many cases earthquake predictions, i. e., a prognosis of upcoming events, is a complicated multi-aspect line in the contemporary geodynamics, but at the same time it is a virtual and interesting one. At present experts from different countries (the USA, Japan, Russia, France, China, Italy, Armenia, and so on, which suffer from disastrous earthquakes from time to time) express different opinions on the possibility of earthquake's prediction, and these opinions are changing with the time in the course of evolution of the Earth's sciences [1 - 19].

The objectives of the proposed Project are theoretical and experimental studies of the interrelations between geodynamic and ecoseismochemical settings, with the aim to predict earthquakes. It is a top priority, first of all, to understand regional geodynamic mechanisms of earthquake occurrence (i. e., a prediction strategy), as well as local deformations with hydrogeochemical processes (i. e., a prediction tactics) originating from it, i. e., to classify seismic foci in combination with long-term and short-term seismochemical precursors within different zones (zones of spreading, transform faults and long-living hot points) and especially convergent zones (subduction zones) of seismically active areas of the Earth.

The lithosphere plate tectonics, which now is a basis of the contemporary geodynamic science, provides for the first time new prospects in earthquake predictions because it allows understanding of a mechanism for plate boundary deformation in various seismically active geodynamic regions of the world (Middle - Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean, etc.).

Thus, proceeding from the Project's objective, prediction and classification of earthquakes according to assessed seismic hazard in the ancient and contemporary geodynamic systems shall be preceded by comprehensive geodynamic studies aimed at the corrective selection of earthquake formation mechanisms (i. e., geodynamic, seismogeological ones based on a stepwise paleovolcanological facies-formation ground, as well as on seismogeochemical precursors and especially hydrogeochemical ones) [13 - 17]. The preliminary theoretical estimates and laboratory studies, as well as wide experience and extensive knowledge of the experts participating in the Project in the fields of the contemporary geodynamics such as seismotectonics, volcanology (palaeovolcanology), geochemical metallogeny, and ecological chemistry ensure a success in implementation of the planned studies.

When implementing the proposed Project it is planned to carry out the following program meeting the ISTC objectives:

· reorientation of the collective body of scientists, engineers and technicians who had been engaged in military projects earlier, to the development of seismic prediction methodology;
· support of civic purpose studies and developments;
· further integration of scientists and engineers, who had worked in armament fields in the past, into the international community of scientists; and
· development of science-consuming technologies in Armenia, etc.

When implementing the Project, the following methods and means will be used:

· analysis of available materials of satellite images and aerial photos deciphering and interpretations, drawing up of stepwise schemes of major fault zones, both linear and circular, field seismological, geological-and-geophysical interpretations;

· summing up and analysis of existing data on geodynamic, seismic-and-geological, seismic-and-tectonic and seismic-and-geochemical (especially, hydrogeochemical) precursors;

· improvement of basic principles and methods of the stepwise seismic-and-geological (J - K1, K2, P, N-Q) facies-formation palaeovolcanic and retrospective geodynamic analysis and development of the Meso-Cenozoic (T3 - J1, J2, J3 - K1, K2, P2+3, N - Q) geodynamic evolution model of the Earth's crust and the lithosphere of the Minor Caucasus and the Armenian Highland as a segment of the Central Mediterranean seismically active volcanogenic-and-metallogenic belt;

· revealing of the Minor Caucasus' long-living Benioff (Vadati-Zavaritskii-Benioff) seismic focal zone and the palaeomorphological elements associated with it, which were the basis for development of retrospective long-term and short-term predictions of earthquakes within the Palaeo-Thetys and Meso-Thetys oceans (as a typical example of convergent and partially pergent boundaries);

· revealing of the nature of the Minor Caucasus seismically active volcanogenic zones of different ages, which are central segments of primary palaeo-island arcs of the Central Mediterranean belt, and revealing of discrete areas, so called "ring-like forms of seismicity", which represent volcanic focus of concentric-zonal-contouring magmatogenic megastructures (as an area of strong earthquake occurrence), within linear seismically active zones;

· revealing of laterally migrating seismically active linear fault zones within the aforementioned palaeomorphological structural elements and interrelation between redox characteristics of underground waters and territory's seismicity; before earthquake - transition of an environment into a quasi-reduction state, vanishing of hydrogen peroxide from waters, which causes a massive blossoming of blue-green algae (as indicators of seismic activity);

· development of efficient quick methods for determination of small concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (10-5 to 10-4 gram-molecule/l) and systematization of the obtained ecoseismogeochemical data with the aim to establish the basics for a new scientific line, namely: the geodynamic ecoseismic prediction (for convergent or destructive boundaries, or subductional systems).