South-eastern slope of Greater Caucasus is Azerbaijan’s most active seismic zone – Gurban Yetirmishli: This many earthquakes over magnitude 5 have never been recorded in Azerbaijan

Baku: The Republican Seismological Service Center of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences on Friday held a meeting at the ANAS Geology Institute.

APA reports that Director General of the Republican Seismological Service Center of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) Gurban Yetirmishli gave information about the seismic surveys carried out in the territory of Azerbaijan, domestic and foreign quakes recorded in 2014, as well as the expansion of the center’s monitoring network and GPS stations installed throughout the country.

This was the most active year in terms of both the number of quakes occurred over the last 10 years (2003-2014) and the amount of energy released from them

He also said more than 8,000 quakes were recorded throughout the year, adding that many of them occurred in the first quarter.

“In 2014, 6 earthquakes over magnitude 5 hit Azerbaijan. This many earthquakes over magnitude 5 have never been seen in Azerbaijan. This was the most active year in terms of both the number of quakes occurred over the last 10 years (2003-2014) and the amount of energy released from them,” he said.

In Azerbaijan, quakes mostly occurred at a depth of 10-20 km. The quakes with a depth over 50 km rarely occur in the Lower Kura Depression and mostly in the Caspian Sea. Sometimes, rare quakes are recorded in the Caspian Sea with a depth of more than 70 km.

Yetirmishli added that the center conducts the macro seismic research for each quake and dynamics of earthquake epicenters, and eventually epicenter mechanisms are studied in order to determine what happens in the epicenter. “The most seismically active zone in Azerbaijan is the south-east slopes of the Greater Caucasus. Though weak shocks are recorded in that area, it still remains active. This is due to the movement of plates. Thus the Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the Greater Caucasus and squeezes the Arabian plate. Consequently, tension occurs in the south-east slopes of the Greater Caucasus.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY