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Natural Hazards

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 997–1006 | Cite as

Kinematics of the eastern Caucasus near Baku, Azerbaijan

  • Fakhraddin Kadirov
  • Michael Floyd
  • Akif Alizadeh
  • Ibrahim Guliev
  • Robert Reilinger
  • Sadi Kuleli
  • Robert King
  • M. Nafi Toksoz
Original Paper

Abstract

The potential for large, shallow earthquakes and their associated seismic hazard in the eastern Caucasus, an area of dense population and sensitive industrial infrastructure, remains speculative based on historical precedent and current geologic and seismologic observations. Here we present updated and expanded results from a GPS network between the northern edge of the Lesser Caucasus and Greater Caucasus, providing geodetic constraints to the problem. A significant strain rate is observed in a profile over a distance of about 150 km across the Kura Basin. We attribute this to inter-seismic strain accumulation on buried fault structures and present simple elastic dislocation models for their plausible geometry and slip rate based on the known geology, seismicity and the GPS velocities. Due to the close proximity of the strain anomaly to Baku, further observations are needed to determine whether observed contraction is due to inter-seismically locked faults and, if so, implications for the seismic hazard in the region.

Keywords

GPS velocities Arabia–Eurasia collision Caucasus Mountains Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Inter-seismic strain accumulation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Maps were generated using the GMT software (Wessel and Smith 1995). We are grateful to Simon McClusky for assistance with processing the CGPS data, UNAVCO for technical help with the GPS field observations, and James Jackson for constructive discussions and reviews on this work. We thank Philippe Vernant and an anonymous reviewer, whose comments greatly improved this manuscript. MIT participation was supported in part by NSF EAR-0838488 and NSF EAR-0609730.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fakhraddin Kadirov
    • 1
  • Michael Floyd
    • 2
  • Akif Alizadeh
    • 1
  • Ibrahim Guliev
    • 1
  • Robert Reilinger
    • 2
  • Sadi Kuleli
    • 2
  • Robert King
    • 2
  • M. Nafi Toksoz
    • 2
  1. 1.Geology InstituteAzerbaijan National Academy of SciencesBakuAzerbaijan
  2. 2.Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary SciencesMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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