Seismic geochemistry expert Ramida Keramova: Operational seismic forecast is viable

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

“Determination of time, focus and magnitude of earth shocks, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions is one of the most topical problems. Although reliable mathematical methods, including software, are not used to predict the main parameters of earthquakes globally, studies in the field of seismic forecasting are underway. This includes seismological, geophysical and seismic-fluid dynamic (FFD) studies,” according to Ramida Keramova, Head of the Complex geochemical researches department of Azerbaijan’s Center of Seismological Service (RTSS) of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan.

“Obviously it is necessary to determine three main parameters for the correct forecast of a strong earthquake: location of the seismic center, calculation of the magnitude of the future seismic event and the time remaining before its implementation. Forecasts can be current (operational), short-term, medium-term and long-term. Of these, the most difficult is the operational forecasting of an earthquake. But it is viable.”

Keramova said that the studies are conducted in two main areas – registration of earthquakes with seismological methods and forecast of earthquakes in various ways (seismological, geophysical, seismic and dynamic).

"I have been working in the field of seismic and fluid dynamics research for 38 years. Several important measures must be implemented to solve the tasks in real time. This includes the implementation of long-term, annual, stationary (not less than 5 years) monitoring in the above areas, the accuracy of actual primary information for specific areas, the operational interpretation of the seismic and fluid dynamics research data, high percentage accuracy of seismic forecasting prior to earthquakes. It is very difficult to comply with all these conditions. But according to the data published in the scientific literature, works which are carried out in our country in the field of operational seismic forecasting meet these requirements," Keramova noted.

“The coverage of the operational assessment of the seismic situation on the basis of the results of our studies is quite extensive: the Caspian Sea, the territories of Azerbaijan and neighboring countries: Russia, in particular, Dagestan and the territory of Chechnya, which is close to it; Georgia; the Anatolian-Iranian-Caucasian tectonic block, which includes Turkey, Iran, as well as the territories of the countries where the foci of deep-focus earthquakes of the Hindu Kush seismogenic zone are located: Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan. The material also evaluates the seismic situation in the centers of strong planetary earthquakes: Chile, Japan, Indonesia, etc. At present, the reliability of our seismic forecast is extremely high, for many regions above 75-85 percent,” she said.

According to the expert, underground waters and waters of the Caspian Sea as well as dissolved gases and radioactive emissions of the earth's surface are the objects of these studies. “Research in this field began in 1979 and continues in six seismically active regions of our country - Absheron, Shamakhi, Sheki, Siyazan, Khachmaz and Lankaran regions. The initial stage of the annual seismic and fluid dynamics research monitoring covering the years 1979-1986, has revealed a stage of retro interpretation, and seismic anomalies were observed in the short-term rest period even in the water area of the Caspian Sea and in the territory of Azerbaijan, even in regions where studies are conducted irrespective of hydrometeorological and weather and anomalies. We came to the conclusion that in the field of seismic and fluid dynamics research areas abnormal changes are associated with processes in neighboring countries and more distant centers. Thus, through a detailed retro interpretation of the seismic and fluid dynamics research monitoring we have achieved training in identifying characteristic short-term criteria for both local and remote earthquakes. As a result, our seismic forecast also includes distant seismically active regions of the planet," she said.

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