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Nonlinear Problems in Earth Science


Conversion of R&D in Missile Navigation to Nonlinear Problems in Earth Science

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Novozhilov V V

Leading Institute
IIEPT (Earthquake Prediction), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Ural Branch of RAS / Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics, Russia, Sverdlovsk reg., Ekaterinburg


  • Universita' Degli Studi di Trieste / Dipartimento di Scienze Della Terra, Italy, Trieste\nInternational Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), Austria, Laxenburg\nUniversity of Uppsala, Sweden, Uppsala

Project summary

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the Project is development of a scientific base for better understanding geophysical processes associated with ecological catastrophes and natural hazards. The Project addresses the following general problem areas: theoretical explanation of the processes of lithosphere dynamics, particularly, those causing earthquakes; earthquake prediction; methods of investigation of ozone holes; ecological monitoring and search for mineral deposits using satellite, geological, geophysical, and seismological data.

The studies will be a logical continuation of the research on mathematical geophysics started within the framework of the ISTC Project #008-94 and be made by a joint research group consisting of scientists from the Institute of Mathematics and Mechanics (IMM), Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, who worked earlier in missile navigation and scientists from the International Institute for Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics (IIEPT), Russian Academy of Sciences, working in mathematical geophysics.

ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Creation of new possibilities to fill in the existing gap between theoretical models and phenomenology of instability in the lithosphere that will provide a new theoretical base for prediction and possibly control of critical phenomena in the lithosphere. Development of numerical techniques for modelling the interaction between surface and lithospheric processes. Development of new statistical methods that use all available seismological data and can provide reconstruction of stress and strain fields in a wide interval of scales (5-5000 km, 0.1-20 years) without having to expand the observational capabilities. Development of new methods for seismic source study by analysis of seismic wave spectra. Development of the method of determination of density of free electrons in the ionosphere based on Doppler's frequency shift measurements for the case of the radiosounding from a satellite with registration on another satellite with application to investigation of ozone holes. Development of automated methods, algorithms, and software for combined analysis of available satellite, geological, geophysical, and seismological data for the study of ecology, natural disasters, and mineral deposits.

FEASIBILITY of these goals is based on (i) the results of the studies started within the framework of the ISTC Project #008-94, proved to be quite successful, and (ii) complementary expertise of the participants. The close collaborations with the scientists from France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and USA were established, and the plans of the further joint studies were formulated.

SCOPE OF ACTIVITY of the project will include theoretical analysis of the problems under consideration, development of mathematical algorithms for solution of specific problems, development and testing of the software realising the algorithms, numerical modelling, collecting of data - geological, tectonic and topographic maps, gravity, heat flow, seismicity, sonar data, remote sensing, satellite images etc., data processing by means of the algorithms and software developed, preparation of scientific publications, reports, and presentations at scientific conferences and meetings, work seminars, and foreign travels to attend international scientific meetings and to contact the foreign collaborators.

METHODOLOGY of the project was formed as a result of the execution of the ISTC Project #008-94. It is based on the following branches of applied mathematics which have applications both in navigation and control of missiles and in mathematical geophysics: analysis of behaviour of dynamical systems described by differential equations (ordinary and with partial derivatives) and inverse problems for them; pattern recognition and scene analysis; computer analysis of geological and geophysical data.

POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTION OF THE FOREIGN COLLABORATORS will include joint studies on the project subjects, exchange of methods, software and data, searching for possible practical applications of results obtained, and holding international workshops on the project subjects.