Exponential growth of natural disasters — a problem that is beyond the scope of scientific discussion. People "shaking", "washes", "sweeping", "freeze" and "fries" from year to year more and more intense. What happens to nature now? Opinions as much as the experts. An avalanche of publications filled the Internet, "yellow press" and respectable scientific journals. "Echo" newspaper asked to comment on the situation to the deputy director of the Institute of Geology, the president of the National Committee of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), academician Ibrahim Guliyev: — One thing is certain — the planet is something definitely going on. Nor astrologers or soothsayers and, most importantly, the researchers did not expect this increase of natural catastrophes and explain these anomalies until they can not. A year ago, in 2010, Haiti was a major earthquake. The epicenter was located 22 kilometers south-west of the capital at a depth of 13 km. The earthquake in Haiti was the result of crustal movements in the contact area the Caribbean and North American plates. According to official figures for March 18, 2010 the death toll was 222 570 people wounded — 311 thousand people, missing persons — 869 persons. Property damage is estimated at 5.6 billion euros. The next most powerful natural disaster was the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, which paralyzed the whole of Europe. Then the sad list of continued extreme heat caused by the worst fires in Russia and Israel, a cyclone, a paralyzed Europe in late December.
Nor astrologers or soothsayers and, most importantly, the researchers did not expect this increase of natural catastrophes and explain until these anomalies can not
Major environmental catastrophe year was the accident in the Gulf of Mexico, which resulted in the water were hundreds of tons of oil.
According to the Swiss insurance group Swiss Re, the number of victims of natural disasters in the world in 2010 was a record number — more than 260 thousand people. This is the highest level since 1976, and it is 17 times more than in 2009.
— Is this sharp activation of natural disasters have no explanation?
— Unfortunately, a rigorous scientific hypothesis has no suggested. There are only a few suggestions. It is believed that the growing intensification of geological processes associated with dynamic processes in the deep zones of the planet, forcing Synchronize processes on the Sun and planets. Also found anomalies, recorded instrumentally.
Studies using space satellites have shown that the equatorial line is an increase in the diameter of the Earth, the planet is becoming a little more flat.
According to other researchers, over the last 150 years the Earth's magnetic field strength decreases, and the sun, on the contrary, increased. Also showed the kind of "arrhythmia" Sun associated with the violation of the 11-year cycle.
According to another view, the activation of disasters associated with increasing due to human activity, greenhouse effect, induced by earthquakes and other factors of human activity. Earth is covered with giant engineering works, which in a few decades could be more than 10% of the land. The development of the lithosphere is not just the breadth but also depth. Minerals mined all with greater depth. An increasing number of mines and quarries deep foundation, increases the depth of wells (reached the mark more than 10 km). Due to lack of space in the city people are increasingly develops and uses the subsurface (underground passages, tunnels, vaults, archives).
Over the past 150 years the magnetic field of the Earth is reduced and the Sun, on the contrary, increased
The largest-scale technological impact of man on the lithosphere is primarily due to activities such as mining, engineering, construction, agricultural and military. Techno human activities may even lead to the emergence of the tremendous and geological hazards such as earthquakes. This phenomenon is known as "induced seismicity."
Most often earthquakes of technogenic origin arise from the creation of large and deep reservoirs, oil exploration, nuclear, and other explosions. Such phenomena have been recorded in many countries — Russia, Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland, China, Japan, Pakistan, Australia, the U.S. and others. Seismic oscillations of the earth's crust, comparable to large earthquakes occur and underground nuclear tests. It is believed that they may be the cause of enhanced seismic activity in the surrounding area, serve as a trigger.
Techno human activities may even lead to the emergence of the tremendous and geological hazards such as earthquakes
There are other interesting, most fantastic hypotheses. Earth — a giant machine that has the mind is stronger than ours. She has long suffered abuse at her. Before our eyes, her patience breaks. Either we reconsider and renounce violence progressing on it, or it severely avenge us. In any case, humanity has long time to realize that the root of all his troubles lies in him. No matter what causes global warming, earthquakes, and floods — natural, man-made factors, or God's wrath. It is important that the natural disaster we call the actions themselves.
— And what is the way out of the situation, you see?
— We can only rely on the power of human reason and wisdom of people on our planet. Today in the world are spending huge sums to the study of the Earth. This ground stations, and orbiters. Monitoring the Earth from orbit palm hold Europeans. The European Space Agency, ESA, operates a whole set of tools for different purposes, and each of them in varying degrees, can work on the forecasts of climate and weather. Grouping orbiters sent to earth more than 100 terabytes of data per year, three thousand projects use the data to Earth. The general budget of ESA to 3744.7 million 18.9% (the biggest part of the budget) is spent on the study of the Earth. Under the direction of the Center of the Earth Observation (ESRIN) are seven operational satellites and as many more in the pipeline.
— As with such volumes of information and resources involved scientists, figuratively speaking, shrug their shoulders when it comes to accurate prediction even for a short period of time?
— First. The study of the Earth should be a priority for all mankind. The real situation is. Government funding is not enough research in this area. Recognizing the paramount importance of the large projects in the field of space research or elementary particles, like, all the same, down to earth. To study natural processes spent thousands of times less than the cost of research in other natural sciences.
Monitoring the Earth from orbit palm hold Europeans
Second. Officials of different ranks do not listen to the scientists. The most typical example — the earthquake in Haiti. American scientists have discovered disturbing signs of growing stresses in the fault Enriquillo, which led to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, officials warned two years ago! They presented their findings at the Geological Conference in March 2008 and met with the Haitian authorities two months later. Prediction was that the country would become 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Time has shown that they overestimated the risk by only two-tenths. Unfortunately, these warnings were not taken by the authorities properly, and the earthquake in Haiti caught people by surprise. Back in our country.
Unfortunately, these warnings were not taken by the authorities properly, and the earthquake in Haiti caught people by surprise
Scientists at the Institute of Geology repeatedly, including in official documents of the office, pointed to the need for research and the creation of micro-zoning of the relevant maps of major cities and strategic sites such as the Mingachevir reservoir, oil and gas facilities, areas set aside for the construction of large projects in the future, for example, nuclear power plants, terminals and ports. Unfortunately, no reaction. The city continues to be built up rapidly, the development of oil fields in the sea is gaining momentum, build terminals, pipelines, ports, platinum. All this, of course, very good, but with the appropriate expertise. Today, scientific support and expertise of these projects are at the level of 50 years ago.
— But there is a reputable international organization to which national leaders should heed.
— In June and July of this year in Australia (Melbourne) will host the General Assembly of the International Union of Surveyors and geophysicists. By the way, last year, the National Committee of the oldest and prestigious organization established in Azerbaijan. We have already received an invitation to participate in the work of the Assembly. Almost all the reports devoted to the problems of natural disasters, their forecast and mitigation. We hope that the recommendations of the Assembly officials will be more careful than the warnings of Azerbaijani scientists.
— Tell us more about this organization.
— IUGG National Committee was established in Azerbaijan in 2010. Its main purpose — to represent Azerbaijan in international organizations to coordinate activities on international geodetic and geophysical projects, create national databases of geodetic and geophysical data in the World Data Centers and to represent Azerbaijan in the International Commission for the World Data Centre. In addition, the National Committee is coordinating work on the introduction of new computer and communication technologies in the international exchange of geophysical data. Its functions also include the organization of national and international seminars and workshops on fundamental problems of geodesy and planetary geophysics.
The study of the laws by which the Earth is alive and growing, today the most important task of science
Our planet formed solid earth, the oceans (hydrosphere), the atmosphere (gaseous envelope) and magnetosphere. Together they make up an environment in which there is humanity, the environment on which we depend entirely. Therefore the study of the laws governing the lives and develops land, today, in light of the processes that have engulfed the planet — the most important task of science. The solution of this problem has dedicated itself Planetary Geodesy and Geophysics — complex sciences that study the physical processes that cover our planet, or that the shell as a whole or in large scale of its regions. The object of study of the Earth is indivisible, the phenomena — hurricanes and earthquakes, the deep structure of the Earth's Interior and volcanoes, aurora and tides, glaciers and magnetic storms, ocean currents and movements of the earth's crust — do not recognize national borders. That is why the scientists who study the Earth, were among those who first need to bring together, for without the active cooperation of geologists, geophysicists, and surveyors of all nations, each of them would be able to make informed judgments about what he studies.
— All this is a global problem that Azerbaijan takes in the future is going to take an even more active role. What about the study and forecasting of natural disasters directly in Azerbaijan?
— Today, the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan was established and operates a modern seismic monitoring telemetry system, paras regime electromagnetic and geochemical measurements. Academy of Sciences also has three continuously operating fixed stations (GPS) and 30 control points measurement in the country. As telemetry seismic monitoring system and station (GPS) are included in the international network, and the information available to Internet users through the relevant sites. However, the available equipment, in connection with the activation of natural processes, it is not enough. Number of seismic monitoring stations and (GPS) to at least double in the near future. This is especially significant network growth in the Absheron Peninsula and Archipelago, where the main civilian objects and industrial infrastructure, and in the Caspian Sea, where the most important oil and gas facilities. According to recent geodynamic data, the tension in the region is growing. You should place the new stations and bases on the Absheron Peninsula, and in particular, on the islands of Baku and Absheron archipelago and oil platforms. More distant goal — placing seismometers on the bottom of the Caspian Sea. It is a task of exceptional importance, as it is here concentrated the whole industry, including the oil infrastructure.
You should place the new stations and bases on the Absheron Peninsula, and in particular, on the islands of Baku and Absheron archipelago
Oil and gas will activate the dynamic processes in the reservoir and in the surrounding parts of the environment. Exploitation, particularly high rates of screening of oil, artificial stimulation to enhance oil recovery, manifested in a sharp increase in the intensity seismic acoustic emission, redistribution of stresses and strains in the body of the reservoir, and in the environment, over fallow, under fallow, especially in sedimentary cover. Studies induced earthquakes have shown that the most powerful of them occurred after 10-30 years from the start of operation of oil fields.
— What kind of basic research, new techniques are now being developed in Azerbaijan?
— We think that today we need to dramatically increase funding for research into fundamental geological processes occurring in the interior of Azerbaijan. Work on the creation of geological and geophysical models of the subsoil of Azerbaijan conducted under a program funded from the national budget. Prerequisites for the development of new technologies and models are in place at the Institute of Cybernetics of ANAS and other organizations.
In Azerbaijan, along with experts in state organizations, ANAS, SOCAR, State Oil Academy, Baku State University, there are a number of NGOs involved in the study of earthquakes. There is information about some of the inventions and new technologies in the field of earthquake prediction, developed by these organizations. We would welcome a discussion of these technologies in the ANAS for subsequent inclusion in the integrated network of the Republican Seismological Service. At the time, the USSR had built a unique scientific facilities dealing with geological hazards — Garm geophysical test site (a unique and unparalleled in the world), the Geophysical Observatory based on the Kola super-deep wells, etc.
It seems to us that it is necessary to return to the idea of creating a geophysical observatory based Saatly deep well, drilled to a depth of 8 km. Lowered to such depths of geophysical equipment could provide unique information on the geophysical fields within the vast region. Institute of Geology 20 years ago by submitting a proposal to the government of Azerbaijan. An example of such a geophysical observatory can serve as high-resolution seismic network in the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield (USA). It is equipped with a large chain of seismometers located in boreholes deep underground. We have a huge number of abandoned oil and water wells, a unique methodology, algorithms and programs for the study of seismic noise developed at the Institute of Cybernetics of Azerbaijan. Need to dramatically increase attention to these developments and to create a comprehensive state program, coordinating all these disparate research.
— But suppose a natural disaster accurately predicted. And then what?
— We have already said that the information about earthquakes and modern geodynamic processes, resulting in ANAS, is available online and can be used by any organizations and individual users. It should be made available to all organizations that are somehow related to the problem, including the MOE, the ministries and departments, the executive authority of cities and regions, the authorities responsible for the construction and operation of civil and industrial buildings, numerous non-governmental organizations, in one way or another connected with the problem . However, the change notification geodynamic situation and possible earthquakes should be taken only at the government level, on presentation of the authorities responsible for this area. As for the weather, which always appear in the media, then they can seriously listen only after appropriate scientific expertise.
Change notification geodynamic situation and possible earthquakes should be taken only at the government level
The events in Haiti have shown that awareness of government agencies and the public and preparing for the possible geodynamic events — an essential condition for successful coping. Weather modern geodynamic activity with time has become a kind of weather forecasts Earth's interior. Here a large role raising enlightenment services directly employed in this sector, as well as the total population, a kind of literacy classes in geology. The key problem — earthquake engineering. The main reason for the enormous damage of the earthquake in Haiti is a poor construction. None of the buildings did not endure such the disaster. I think the responsibility for the tragedy lies not only nature, but also the government of Haiti. Republican bodies responsible for quality construction, is once again to reflect on this fact.
— Yet prevent disaster today, science can not?
— Science is not all-powerful. Preventing accidents with such energy is impossible. But towards the mitigation is and encouraging results. I mean study to target focus zones to reduce the magnitude of earthquakes. Monitoring of earthquakes, initiated by natural and man-made influences, shows that an upstream attack leads to the "immature" earthquakes of magnitude less than the natural earthquake that would happen later if it did not turn out to be quite a strong impact or the amount of impact. Indeed, exciting seismic, electrical stimulation can relieve minor foreshocks part tectonic energy accumulated in the source zone, and thus reduce the energy of the main shock and reduce the magnitude of the devastating earthquake. Reducing the magnitude of 0.3 can reduce losses from the destruction of 1.5. Quality script artificial impact on the hearth coming earthquake and combining man-made and natural impacts demonstrated feasibility of organizing special field and modeling studies. There are other promising projects.
Reducing the magnitude of 0.3 can reduce losses from damage by 1.5 times
In conclusion, I want to repeat once again: forecasting, reducing damage and prevention of natural and man-made disasters today — the problem is no less important than genetic engineering, stem cell research, or the physics of elementary particles. It is costly. Today the financing of the entire science of Azerbaijan is low, about 0.25% of GDP, with a minimum of 1%, not to mention the level of advanced countries — 3-4%. In the region of the Earth and even less funding. At the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan only 3 organization studying the Earth. This is the Institute of Geology and Geography, as well as the Republican Seismological Service. Necessary to establish a new type of scientific institutions, such as the Center for the Study of mud volcanoes, the Center for the Study of the Caspian Sea, and others. In studying these problems Azerbaijan throughout its history has held senior positions. We just have to keep the lead in these areas.
Today, we are all witnesses of the most difficult problems arising from global climate change. The international community has responded to this multiple increase funding for research. We need to understand that natural disasters deserve no less attention.