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Recent earthquakes may provoke mud volcano eruptions

7 February 2019 16:13 (UTC+04:00)
Recent earthquakes may provoke mud volcano eruptions

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

The earthquakes that occurred recently in some areas of the country may affect the activation of some volcanoes in Shamakhi and in the north of Gobustan, Adil Aliyev, the head of the mud volcanism department of the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences told Trend on Wednesday.

"To check the state of volcanoes after the earthquake, it is necessary to organize an expedition to this territory. It is possible that after this earthquake volcanic eruptions will occur in Shamakhi and in the north of Gobustan," said Aliyev.

Earlier, Aliyev said 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 added.

Recently, five earthquakes were recorded in the country. Three of the earthquakes that occurred were felt.

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.

In general, about 7,000 earthquakes were recorded in 35 seismic telemetry stations in Azerbaijan in 2018 year, the Republican Center for Seismological Service of ANAS said in its annual report. About 4,000 of them are earthquakes in Azerbaijan and adjacent territories, about 3,000 are distant earthquakes.

In Azerbaijan, there are more than 350 mud volcanoes. It is more than in any country and they appeared on the territory of the present Azerbaijan 25 million years ago. Most of volcanoes are active throughout the year and only 43 of the mud volcanoes are protected by the state.

Mud volcanoes by origin are associated with oil and gas fields. Rich deposits of gas condensate and oil have been discovered in the areas of mud volcanoes. In addition, the mud and liquid that mud volcanoes spew are used as raw materials for the chemical and construction industries, as well as for pharmacology.

Eruptions occur every year with a varying intensity of 3-5 volcanoes. But during the growth of seismic activity, the number of eruptions goes up.

From 1810 to the present, 50 volcanoes caused approximately 200 large eruptions. The eruption of mud volcanoes is accompanied by strong explosions and underground roar. Gases come out of deep layers of the earth and immediately ignite. The height of the flame above the volcano reaches 1000 meters (Garasu volcano). The volcano Toragay from 1841 to 1950 erupted six times.

Geologists of NASA studying Mars planet, concluded that mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan are similar to uplands of the planet for their structure.

Otoman Bozdag is the second largest mud volcano, according to the media reports. Its eruption on September 23, 2018 produced mud extrusions that have reached 4 km long and cracks as deep as 80 m.


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