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Caucasian Siesmic Information System

#A-651


Caucasian Seismic Information Network for Hazard and Risk Assessment (CauSIN)

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-SEM/Seismic Monitoring/Environment
  • OBS-GEO/Geology/Other Basic Sciences

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
07.12.2000

Completion date
25.02.2009

Senior Project Manager
Genisaretskaya S V

Leading Institute
National Survey for Seismic Protection of RA / Seismic Hazard Assessment Complex Center, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior, Armenia, Yerevan\nInstitute of Geological Sciences, Armenia, Yerevan\nGeorgian Geoecological Service Center, Georgia, Tbilisi\nGeorgian Geophysical Society, Georgia, Tbilisi\nGeophysics Institute, Georgia, Tbilisi\nInstitute of Mechanics, Armenia, Yerevan\nScientific Research Company GEORISK, Armenia, Yerevan

Collaborators

  • National Observatory of Athens / Institute of Geodynamics, Greece, Athens\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, MA, Cambridge\nEcole et Observatoire de Physique du Globe, France, Strasbourg\nMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) / Earth Resources Laboratory, USA, MA, Cambridge

Project summary

The Caucasus is a region of numerous natural and manmade hazards, and ensuing disasters. Analysis of the losses due to past disasters indicates that those most catastrophic in the region have historically been due to strong earthquakes, dating back as far as the 19th millennium B.C.

In more recent times seismic risk in the region has reached a maximum value for the entire historical period of the existence of the Caucasus countries. It is due in large part to not only the population increase and territory urbanization, but additionally to the recurring cycle of high seismic activity leading to a high probability of new strong seismic events. Additionally the relatively low seismic resistance of existing buildings and structures when compared to the actual level of seismic hazard, poor preparedness of the population and State Governmental Bodies, difficult economical situation, political problems and many other social and economic problems add to the already high seismic vulnerability of the countries in the region.

The impact of an earthquake is not only limited to direct losses, such as the loss of life, building damages and business disruption. Earthquakes also cause indirect losses by producing supply shortages and demand reductions in various economic sectors that do not sustain direct damage. Indirect losses have a ripple effect that is transmitted throughout the regional economy and social fabric. In a country with a fragile economy such as Armenia or Georgia, a large earthquake can actually contribute to an economic or governmental collapse.

Seismic faults and the ensuing hazards due to these fault zones have no state boundaries and a catastrophe in the region could easily damage the neighboring countries. Taking this into consideration as well as the great interest of each state in the region to protect their own population and sustainable economic development, the problem of earthquake hazard assessment and risk reduction in the Caucasus countries is essential to all the countries of the region.

The main objective of the project is to establish the basis for further investigations directed toward the seismic risk reduction in the Caucasus region.

According to the objective stated the main tasks of the Project are:

1. Database creation.


2. Seismic hazard assessment.
3. Calibration for determination of sites for regional seismic stations and CTBT.
4. Tectonic studies.
5. Seismic risk assessment and training.

Seven institutions from Armenia and Georgia will participate in the Project:

– The National Survey for Seismic Protection under the Government of the Republic of Armenia (NSSP);


– Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (AASPEI);
– National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (NASRA);
– The Scientific Research Company "GEORISK" (Georisk);
– Institute of Geophysics, Georgian Academy of Sciences (IG);
– Georgian Geological Service Center “GEOECO” (Geoeco);
– Georgian Geophysical Society (GGS).

The participating Institutes have rich research experience in the aforementioned fields. The main scientific and engineering potential of Armenia and Georgia in the field of Earth Sciences is concentrated in these institutions.

Implementation of the Project will support the creation of a shared regional database with quality control, which will include seismological, geological, geophysical, geotechnical and other data as well as data on critical facilities that could have significant impact in the region if damaged. During the implementation of the Project existing scientific data will be collected and newly interpreted for input in the database. Based upon the newly created database the range of regional seismic hazard models will be formulated and seismic risk will be assessed for selected structures/facilities.

Tectonic studies and physical/mathematical modelling for creation of regional seismotectonic and geodynamic model. Active tectonic structures will be traced and adjusted in transborder regions.

Special attention will be paid to regional calibration aimed to site selection for installation of the regional seismic network and assisting to CTBT.

New and modern approaches to seismic risk assessment will be applied to assessing loss estimation for selected structures/facilities in the region. Training workshops and pilot training for policy makers and members of the media will be conducted.

Scientific and practical results obtained under the implementation of the Project will be transferred, in a usable format as recommendations to appropriate state and private institutions, organizations and companies interested or responsible for managing and mitigating the natural hazards.

Project implementation will allow to establish basis for further activities directed to seismic risk reduction in the region as well as close collaboration of scientists and policy makers in the mentioned field.

The project will provide weapon scientists and engineers opportunities to redirect their knowledge and skills to peaceful activities. Additionally, it will support the research and technology development in the fields of seismic hazard and risk assessment and seismic risk reduction, environmental and population protection.

Foreign collaborators have been actively involved with the development of this project and will continue to collaborate with participants of the project in the following areas:

– serve on the technical advisory committees for each area of the project providing input and guidance for the project implementation as well as participation in regular meetings;


– data exchange during the Project implementation;
– provide peer review of project results;
– participate in semi-annual project review meetings;
– comments regarding technical reports being presented in the ISTC;
– conduct joint symposia and seminars;
– collaboration in a scientific exchange in various investigations areas;
– complementary activity through leveraging funds from related projects funded by other agencies;
– provide opportunities for hosting project participants at western universities and laboratories;
– disseminate as widely as possible validated results from the project and identify other sources of support.

It should be noted that colleagues from Azerbaijan participated in the development of this project. It is the intention of the project participants and collaborators to include the colleagues from this country as possible through funding sources beyond the ISTC. Additionally discussions have been held with NATO and INTASS to ensure that this project is well coordinated with other related projects, as well as pursue funding of related efforts through a coordinated approach with these other potential funding organizations.


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