Joint research project

Space-time analysis of seismicity of the territory of Republic of Azerbaijan and seismic hazard assessment

Project leaders
Luciano Telesca, Fakhraddin Kadirov
AZERBAIJAN - ANAS - Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
CNR-ANAS 2016-2017
Earth system science and environmental technologies
Thematic area
Earth system science and environmental technologies
Status of the project

Research proposal

From the seismo-tectonic point of view Azerbaijan territory is situated within the central part of Mediterranean moving belt. Its seismicity is governed by the intensive geodynamic interaction of Eurasian and Arabian lithospheric plates. The Azerbaijan territory is characterized by the high seismic activity, and historically there occurred strong and catastrophic earthquakes with the e6, like the highly destructive events occurred in 1139 (Ganja, M6.8), 1668, 1859, and 1902 (M6.9) in the Shamakhi region. While seismic hazard has always existed in Azerbaijan, the rapid infrastructure (oil and gas, chemical industry and other) development, intensified urbanization and an enormous increase in population density have substantially enhanced vulnerability to strong earthquakes in the eastern Azerbaijan. In the recent decades, the disaster risk have also increased in Absheron-Baku region due to overcrowding, faulty land-use planning, inadequately supervised construction, insufficient infrastructure and services, and lack of environmental regulations. Therefore, within this framework the deep investigation of the space-time properties of the seismicity of Azerbaijan along with the assessment of seismic hazard represent important and crucial tasks to accomplish in order to contribute to the sustainable development that has been carrying out in the Republic of Azerbaijan for the last decade.
Up to now, the analysis of the seismicity in Azerbaijan was based on a historical seismic catalogue, with obvious limits due the threshold magnitude, which was too high to perform detailed studies in a large range of temporal scales.
Recently the Seismic Survey of Azerbaijan, which is involved as partner institution in this project, has been compiling an instrumental seismic catalogue covering all the territory of Azerbaijan, with minimum detectable magnitude down to 0, thus allowing to perform detailed investigation of the space-time distribution of the seismicity of Azerbaijan using statistical advanced and robust methodologies, never used for this catalogue so far.
The project combines the expertises of the involved institutions for the investigation of statistical and dynamical properties of Azerbaijani earthquake processes, with the aim to refine the existing level of understanding of dynamical mechanisms of Azerbaijani seismicity and to improve the knowledge about the dynamics of earthquakes, with the final aim to contribute to a more effective seismic hazard assessment.
The project, although grounded in earth sciences, has a strong methodological component, and the cooperation between the two involved Italian and Azerbaijani institutions will offers an effective synergistic added value of sharing of data and investigation methodologies and, in general, all the know-how concerning earthquakes. Furthermore, the project strengthens the solid scientific relationship that has been existing between the two institution for several years in the research field of earthquake processes. Each involved institution has a valuable level of expertise in different aspects of the seismic phenomenon; in particular, the Azerbaijani team has an on-going seismic investigation that provides appropriate data to work with, in terms of data analysis and seismic hazard assessment formulation, while the Italian team has advanced speciality in statistical analysis and methodological approaches in earthquake research.
In this project the Azerbaijani team will be essentially devoted to the seismic data storage and to study the seismo-tectonic and geologic settings of the Azerbaijani territory. On the other hand, the Italian team will be more dedicated to investigate the Azerbaijani earthquake catalogue by means of advanced and robust statistical methodologies in order to dynamically characterize the seismic process, like fractal, and other methodologies novel in seismology, like nonextensive theory, visibility graph analysis, Fisher-Shannon analysis, whose results will have important implications in the context of seismic hazard and risk.
The intended activities include: a) Analysis of the Azerbaijani seismicity by using space-time clustering methodologies, based on fractals. b) Analysis of the nonextensive properties of the Azerbaijani seismicity, following the recent findings in terms of magnitude distributions (Telesca, BSSA, 2012). c) Seismic hazard assessment of the Azerbaijani territory on the base of the up-to-date seismic recordings, and on the base of the results about the dynamics of earthquakes obtained in the previous activities (a and b) .d) Exchange visits of scientists as required to enhance the collaborative activities and generate research outputs. e) Generation of research outputs. Both ongoing and final research results will be published in international journals and conference proceedings. f) Methodological and technological support for possible PhD students and young researchers. g) Webpage for the project will be set up at to facilitate coordinating results and enhance visibility of the collaboration.
The deliverables of the project are: 1) Model of the seismic occurrence in the Azerbaijani territory. 2) Updated seismic hazard map of the whole Azerbaijani territory. 3) Intermediate and final reports on the performed activities and obtained results. 3) Papers and abstracts submitted to international journals and conferences respectively with the acknowledgement of the CNR-ANAS bilateral agreement. 4) Webpage dedicated to the project (description, teams, data, results). 5) A seminar jointly organized focused on the topics of the project.

Research goals

The general objectives of the project are: 1) To reinforce the co-operation between the involved institutions; 2) To share data and methodologies for a better understanding of seismic processes; 3) To acquire co-operation procedures and sharing of data and human resources, to be exploited for a future continuation of joint research/education activities. The specific objectives of the project are: 1) to create a database of Azerbaijani seismic data, available for both the involved teams; 2) to develop a model for the time occurrences of the earthquakes in Azerbaijan; 3) to characterize the space-time dynamics of the seismic activity in Azerbaijan by means of advanced statistical time series tools; 4) to set up a framework for the assessment of seismic hazard, by means of all the data collected and the results obtained; 5) to disseminate preliminary and final results of the project in international conferences, publications, and in a project-oriented internet website; 6) to foster young researchers and Ph.D students in both the involved institutions.

Last update: 27/11/2021