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Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy (2004)

Chapter: Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
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Appendix I
Caucasus Seismic Information Network: International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) Project A-651

Title:

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

Status:

Project under way

Leading Institute:

Armenian National Survey for Seismic Protection and Seismic Hazard Assessment Complex Center, Yerevan, Armenia

Supporting Institutes

Geophysics Institute, Tbilisi, Georgia

Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior, Yerevan, Armenia

Institute of Geological Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia

Georgian Geoecological Service Center, Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgian Geophysical Society, Tbilisi, Georgia

Institute of Mechanics, Yerevan, Armenia

Scientific Research Company GEORISK, Yerevan, Armenia

Collaborators:

National Observatory of Athens/ Institute of Geodynamics

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ecole et Observatoire de Physique du Globe, Strasbourg, France

Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Earth Resources Laboratory

Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
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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 its highest level over the entire historical period of the existence of the Caucasus countries. This is due in large part not only to the increased population and urbanization but also to the recurring cycle of high seismic activity leading to a high probability of new strong seismic events. In addition, 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 government agencies, difficult economic conditions, 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 losses of life, building damages, and business disruptions. 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 the 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 neighboring countries. Taking this into consideration as well as the great interest of each state in the region in protecting its own population and sustainable economic development, the problem of earthquake hazard assessment and risk reduction in the Caucasus countries is essential to all countries of the region.

The main objective of the project is to establish a basis for further seismic risk reduction studies in the Caucasus region. 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 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) monitoring

  4. Tectonic studies

  5. Seismic risk assessment and training

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

  • National Survey for Seismic Protection under the Government of the Republic of Armenia

  • Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior

Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
×
  • National Academy of Sciences of Armenia

  • Scientific Research Company GEORISK

  • Institute of Geophysics, Georgian Academy of Sciences

  • Georgian Geological Service Center GEOECO

  • Georgian Geophysical Society

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, quality-controlled regional database that 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 project implementation, existing scientific data will be collected and newly interpreted for input in the database. Based on the newly created database, a range of regional seismic hazard models will be formulated and seismic risk will be assessed for selected structures/facilities.

Tectonic studies and physical/mathematical modeling will be used to create regional seismotectonic and geodynamic models. Active tectonic structures will be traced and adjusted in transborder regions.

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

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 through project implementation will be transferred in a usable format as recommendations to appropriate state and private institutions, organizations, and companies interested in or responsible for managing and mitigating natural hazards.

Project implementation will facilitate establishment of a basis for further seismic risk reduction activities in the region and will promote close collaboration of scientists and policy makers in this field. The project will provide weapons scientists and engineers with opportunities to redirect their knowledge and skills to peaceful activities. In addition, it will support research and technology development in the fields of seismic hazard and risk assessment, seismic risk reduction, and environmental and population protection.

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

Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
×
  • Serving on technical advisory committees for each project area to provide input and guidance for project implementation as well as participation in regular meetings

  • Exchanging data during project implementation

  • Providing peer review of project results

  • Participating in semi-annual project review meetings

  • Commenting on technical reports being submitted to the ISTC

  • Conducting joint symposia and seminars

  • Collaborating on scientific exchanges in various study areas

  • Taking part in complementary activity through leveraging funds from related projects funded by other agencies

  • Providing opportunities for hosting project participants at Western universities and laboratories

  • Disseminating as widely as possible validated results from the project and identifying other sources of support

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

SOURCE: http://www.istc.ru

Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
×
Page 84
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
×
Page 85
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
×
Page 86
Suggested Citation:"Appendix I: Caucasus Seismic Information Network." National Research Council. 2004. Science and Technology in Armenia: Toward a Knowledge-Based Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11107.
×
Page 87
Next: Appendix J: Extracts from Testimony of Paul V. Applegarth, Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation »
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An NRC ad hoc committee analyzed the current status and future development potential of Armenia’s science and technology base, including human and infrastructural resources and research and educational capabilities. The committee identified those fields and institutions offering promising opportunities for contributing to economic and social development, and particularly institutions having unique and important capabilities, worthy of support from international financial institutions, private investment sources, and the Armenian and U.S. governments. The scope of the study included both pure and applied research as well as education in science-related fields. The committee’s report addresses the existing capacity of state and private research institutions, higher education capabilities and trends, scientific funding sources, innovative investment models, relevant success stories, factors hindering development of the science sector, potential domestic Armenian customers for scientific results and products, and opportunities for regional scientific collaboration. An Armenian language version of the report is also available.

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