Natural Hazards

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 943–981 | Cite as

Geohazards assessment and mapping of some Balkan countries

  • Betim Muço
  • Georgi Alexiev
  • Shyqyri Aliaj
  • Zenun Elezi
  • Bogdan Grecu
  • Neculai Mandrescu
  • Zoran Milutinovic
  • Mircea Radulian
  • Boyko Ranguelov
  • Defrim Shkupi
Original Paper


The assessment of geological hazard is a topic with significant interest for the Balkans. During the last decade of twentieth century, most of the countries in the region have embarked on the road of a hasty transitory period from totalitarian regimes to democracy. Development of free market economy has given rise to uncontrolled movement of people, fast construction of housing and facilities and unproportioned accumulation of population around and in big cities. Besides Greece, an old member of European Union, and two newcomers in the organization, Romania and Bulgaria, the other countries are all hoping to enter the Union as faster as they can. Many different candidate or full-fledged member country programs of European Community offer a lot of joint and cross-border projects for constructing road infrastructure and facilities. As development accelerates in the Balkans and given the intensive geohazard elements that this territory exhibits, it becomes increasingly important to understand, study, and map these elements for being aware of the damage to the total environment these hazards might cause. The geohazard map and assessment of some Balkan countries has been carried out through two scientific meetings in Ohrid, Macedonia, and Tirana, Albania during 2007. The map is compiled in the Albanian Geological Survey, Tirana, Albania in the scale 1:1,000,000. As a base map, we used the topographic map produced by VGI, formerly Yugoslavia mapping authorities. As a seismic layer in our map, we used the values of peak ground acceleration obtained from Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program. Two catalogs were constructed: The first one that contains the crustal earthquakes (hypocentral depth within first 70 km) and the second one that contains intermediate earthquakes (hypocentral depth below 70 km). This work is largely based on previous studies and investigations by earth scientists and specialists of each country comprised in this territory. In this respect, the map we constructed should be considered as a preliminary composite geohazard map with the possibility to be enriched and added with other new elements and data in the future.


Geological hazards Seismic hazard Earthquakes Landslides Man–man hazard Balkan 



This project has been funded under the grant OPP-024 from US Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF). We are very grateful to the Board of the Foundation for making our project the first of this kind for the Southeast Europe. As earth scientists we appreciate very much the engagement of such powerful foundation as CRDF for supporting the science on this part of the Balkans. We thank especially Dr. Marjorie Senechal from the Board of CRDF for her care and overview during all the phases of the project. Many thanks also to Dr. Francois Roure of IFP, Paris as well as an anonymous reviewer for helping us to improve the manuscript through their valuable comments and remarks.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betim Muço
    • 1
  • Georgi Alexiev
    • 2
  • Shyqyri Aliaj
    • 3
  • Zenun Elezi
    • 4
  • Bogdan Grecu
    • 5
  • Neculai Mandrescu
    • 5
  • Zoran Milutinovic
    • 6
  • Mircea Radulian
    • 5
  • Boyko Ranguelov
    • 7
  • Defrim Shkupi
    • 8
  1. 1.General Dynamics, IRIS ConsultantRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Geography, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  3. 3.Institute of Seismology, Academy of SciencesTiranaAlbania
  4. 4.Seismological InstitutePrishtinaKosovo
  5. 5.National Institute for Earth PhysicsBucharestRomania
  6. 6.Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering SeismologySkopjeMacedonia
  7. 7.Geophysical Institute, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  8. 8.Albanian Association of Engineering Geology and GeoenvironmentTiranaAlbania

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