By Narmina Mammadova
There are 1,400-1,500 mud volcanoes on Earth. Mud volcanoes appeared on the territory of the present Azerbaijan Republic 25 million years ago.
Azerbaijan is one of the countries where mud volcanoes are most widespread. Over 350 mud volcanoes are located in the Absheron peninsula and the Caspian Sea.
The head of the department of mud volcanism of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Azeraijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Professor Adil Aliyev, told Trend on November 16, that activation of volcanoes indicates a possible earthquake.
At the same time, it can be said on the basis of the conducted research, that a strong earthquake awakens a mud volcano, he said.
Aliyev noted that if a volcano that has come into a state of activity lies within a radius of 80-100 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, then the intensity of the earth's crust during an earthquake leads to a volcanic eruption.
He added that the activity of the volcanic mass in the crater implies that soon there will be an earthquake in the area near the volcano.
“Studies of volcanic mass during this period show an anomalous increase in the level of the corresponding components in water and gas. In this case, we conclude that in the near future a weak earthquake will occur on the territory near the volcano. Some believe that when an earthquake occurs in neighboring countries, this may affect the awakening of volcanoes located in the territory of Azerbaijan. However, this opinion is often not confirmed scientifically. According to sources, there was a strong eruption of Shikhzerli volcano located at a distance of 32 kilometers 15 minutes after the devastating earthquake that occurred in Shamakhi in 1902. There are many of such facts therefore, they should be referred to. In 2008, 4-5 earthquakes occurred in Shirvan, Hajigabul, and as a result, 10 days later, Ayrantoken volcano erupted,” said Aliyev.
The head of the department added that research into the mutual influence of volcanoes and earthquakes has been carried out with scientists from the Republican Center for Seismological Services for several years.
Earlier, Aliyev told Trend that six mud volcanoes are expected to erupt in Azerbaijan in the coming months and in 2019.
The head of the department said that there is a possibility of an eruption of the Bozdag Gobu volcano on the Absheron peninsula, the Bahar volcano in the Alat settlement, the Shekikhan, Nardaranakhtarma, Ayazakhtarma and Shikhzerli volcanoes in Gobustan.
Aliyev added that there is a possibility that the eruption of Bozdag Gobu and Bahar volcanoes will be quite strong.
Most of volcanoes are active throughout the year and only 43 of the mud volcanoes are protected by the state.
Mud volcanoes are located far from populated areas. Most of these territories are under protection, and it is strictly forbidden for people to enter there without special permission. Otherwise, everyone will face a large fine - for individuals the amount is 400-600 manats, and for officials – 2,000-4,000 manats.
These bans have several reasons. Firstly, in this way the territory of the volcanoes is protected from possible contamination by people, secondly, possible attempts to carry away the mud from the territory of the reserve are prevented (this mud can be used during construction). And finally, the main reason is that each eruption volcano is a danger to human life. Volcanic eruptions have occurred on the territory of Azerbaijan many times. The first eruption of the volcano occurred in 1828. It was located 15 km from the capital Lokbatan volcano, and it has erupted 17 times since then.
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