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Atropatena Earthquake Forecasting Station In Azerbaijan To Cease Operation
This was communicated by the press-service of the Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes (GNFE) headquartered in London, UK, quoting the statement by the GNFE President Professor Elchin Khalilov. Below is the comment by E.Khalilov in this regard.
Dr.Khalilov, who has made this decision and how can it be explained?
The decision to transfer the ATROPATENA station from Azerbaijan to a European country was made by the Global Network for the Forecasting of Earthquakes itself due to the necessity to optimize the distribution of the stations in the Eastern Hemisphere. The fact is that out of the five ATROPATENA stations, four are located along the line which forms an arc close in shape to a straight line. Such a distribution of the stations is the least efficient. That is why the records of the Baku-based station did not allow us to make the best use of GNFE capabilities to predict the locations of earthquake epicenters more accurately.
Does this mean termination of earthquake forecasts for the territory of Azerbaijan?
Unfortunately yes, as the absence of an earthquake forecasting station in the Caucasus makes it impossible to predict earthquakes in the region with sufficient accuracy. But this concerns not only the territory of Azerbaijan. From July 1, 2012, earthquake forecasts will no longer be issued for the territories of other countries in the region as well, specifically Iran, eastern Turkey, the Gulf States and a number of other countries of the Near and Middle East.
Would it be possible to resume GNFE activities in Azerbaijan someday?
It is certainly possible, but now this question will entirely depend on the initiative of relevant government agencies of Azerbaijan, just as in other countries.
Will the number of GNFE participant countries change due to the closure of the ATROPATENA station in Azerbaijan?
Of course not, because the ATROPATENA station is not being closed but rather transferred to one of the European countries.
In what direction is GNFE development planned?
Presently, we have developed special stations for geodynamic monitoring of landslide sites -"GeoDyn". A special set of programs and communication systems was created to connect these stations into a network and monitor and predict the condition of landslide areas with great accuracy. The system helps detect not only slow movements of landslide areas, their direction and speed but also the slopes of their different parts as well as some parameters indicating the beginning of a landslide, this being GNFE's know-how. Also, as the ATROPATENA station, the "GeoDyn" system of stations continuously transmits all information to a special database via the Internet and in the event of a landslide hazard automatically activates the alarm system in the control center.
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