Title of research project: Short-term dynamics of seismicity: New theoretical base and implications to seismic risk reduction

Reference number of the grant: INTAS-94-232

Period of performance: 1995 to 1997

Project Coordinator: Prof. L. Betrocchi (Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy)

Principal Investigator: Dr. I.V. Kuznetsov


During the last few years new methods ofinvestigation of the short-term dynamics of the Earth's lithosphere have been developed in mathematical geophysics. These results concern all major stages of geophysical analysis - from theoretical and numerical modeling to high resolution processing of observations. On the theoretical side, new understanding of instability of lithosphere was developed on the basis of modern non-linear dynamics with its concepts of chaos and self-organization. This opened new possibilities in the understanding and prediction of geological disasters. On the data processing side, the information extracted from the already available observations was significantly enhanced, allowing to reduce the time and cost of the R&D in many branches of geophysics. The Project integrated the scientific know-how and geophysical data accumulated in Russia and Western Europe. The relevant computer software and database are made widely available. The theoretical results are extended to demonstration studies aimed at the reevaluation of stability of the sites, where high-risk constructions are situated. The following specific tasks were studied: - to outline the limits of predictability of chaotic systems with an intermediate number of degrees of freedom; - to designe advanced methods and algorithms for geophysical analysis, particularly in the fields of seismic risk, geophysical inversion, pattern recognition and earthquake prediction; - the application of these methods to selected regions where population and/or economy are critically vulnerable to "geological" disasters.