Lack of seismic activity may indicate future significant earthquake
By Narmina Mammadova
Every year, several 100,000 earthquakes occur on the globe, and about a hundred of them are destructive, causing death to people and entire cities.
Although Azerbaijan is not the most earthquake-prone place on Earth, the country has witnessed a considerable number of earthquakes from the beginning of the year.
Most of the recorded earthquakes occurred in the Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Zagatala, Balakan regions, in the Lesser Caucasus, in the Talysh zone, as well as in the middle and northern parts of the Caspian Sea during the year.
Over the past few weeks, Azerbaijan stopped to receive information on small earthquakes, usually regularly recorded on the territory of the republic. As Sputnik Azerbaijan reports, it is widely known that the lack of activity in the seismic territory may indicate the threat of a significant earthquake.
For example, it happened so on November 25 at the Iran-Iraq border. The source of an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 lied at a depth of ten kilometers. As a result of tremors, about 550 people were injured. There is information about one dead.
According to official data, the last tremors of magnitude 3 were recorded in the territory of Lerik region in Azerbaijan on November 5, 2018.
Commenting on the three-week lull Vusala Rafigqizi explained the reason for the lack of activity in the country - and what this could lead to.
She said that insignificant earthquakes occur every day.
“The fact is that, an agreement about providing the public with information only about earthquakes of a magnitude higher than three was reached together with international seismological organizations. And since certain processes always occur on the earth’s surface, earthquakes happen daily,” the representative of the seismic center explained.
As for the predictions for more serious earthquakes that may occur as a result of the accumulation of tension in the crust, the expert noted that today no country can give such predictions.
Rafigqizi once again stressed that Azerbaijan is one of the seismically active territories. Currently, the tension of the earth's crust on our site is at the background level.
“If small tremors cease to be registered, this may be a cause for concern, as it may indicate the accumulation of energy. However, fortunately, we have such minor earthquakes every day,” said the head of the department.
Meanwhile, over the past few months in Azerbaijan, small earthquakes occurred in the territory of Lerik, Gabala, Agsu, Gobustan and other areas, as well as in the waters of the Caspian Sea.
Generally, more than 4,400 tremors have been registered in the country since the beginning of the year. As many as 27 of the earthquakes that occurred were felt, the general director of the Republican Center for Seismological Service (RCSS) of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (ANAS), member of ANAS Gurban Yetirmishli told AZERTAG on October 30, 2018.
He noted that since the beginning of the year the strongest tremor had been recorded on the territory of the Zagatala region.
Characterized by high seismic activity and situated in the active collision zone of Arabian plate with Eurasian, the territory of Azerbaijan has complicated block structures differing from each other by the level of seismic activity.
Therefore, Azerbaijan is considered to be a seismically active region – a lot of earthquakes occur here every year, however, majority of them are not felt.
The seismogenic zones with potential to produce dangerous force cover the whole country, as the Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt passes through Azerbaijan. Strong and catastrophic earthquakes that took place several times in this area from ancient times till now caused huge destructions.
Currently, more than 35 seismic stations are established in Azerbaijan with the leading station in the Academic Town of Baku. The stations are connected to the satellite system. In addition, it is planned to install an additional five stations on land.
By the way, scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Montana (U.S.) predicted a year ago that in 2018 the frequency of earthquakes with a magnitude of more than seven points would increase almost twice, and it would happen because of the fact that the decline of Earth's rotation speed, reported MIGnews referring to foreign media.
Scientists studied the strong earthquakes that occurred since 1900. Seismic intensification periods began about five years after the slowdown of the Earth’s rotational speed reached a maximum. About 4.5 years have passed since the last deceleration of the Earth’s rotation.
There is not much time left before the debriefing and verification of the scientists’ predictions, but it must be admitted that the outgoing year was indeed rich in serious and even destructive earthquakes...
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