Geography and Natural Resources

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 79–87 | Cite as

Gravitational Seismodislocations in Mountainous regions of Southeastern Kazakhstan

  • A. R. Medeu
  • V. P. Blagoveshchenskii
  • V. V. Zhdanov
Geography Abroad


Data on rock falls and landslides caused by strong earthquakes in the Zhetysu Alatau, Ile Alatau, Kungei Alatau and Teriskei Alatau mountain ranges on the territory of Southeastern Kazakhstan are presented. The study revealed more than 60 large seismogenic rock falls and landslides, the volume of 25 of them varies from 10 to 100 mil. m3, and the volume of the four largest exceeds 100 mil. m3. The volume of the largest rock fall in the valley of the Ulken Almaty river in the Ile Alatau mountain range is estimated at 380 mil. m3. The highest density of seismogenic landslides was recorded in the low-mountain zone of the northern slope of the Ile Alatau range where the magnitude 9 earthquake of 1887 caused a massive formation of landslides with the volume totaling more than 400 mil. m3 and a density of 1/5 km2. The proportion of landslide-affected areas is estimated at 5% of the area of their occurrence. In the mid- and high-mountain zones of Zhetysu, Ile and Kungei Alatau, the density of seismogenic rock falls varies from 1/100 to 1/50 km2, and the proportion of rock fall-affected areas varies from 1 to 1.5%. It is found that seismogenic rock falls have dammed 26 lakes, and the volume of nine such lakes exceeds 10 mil. m3. The largest rock fall-affected lakes is Upper Zhasylkol in the valley of the Aganakty river in Zhetysu Alatau with the volume of 44 mil. m3. Data from earthquake catalog were used to compile the map for the recurrence frequency of earthquakes of magnitude higher than 6, capable of causing seismogenic rock falls and landslides. It is found that during the last 130 years, in Ile and Kungei Alatau such earthquakes recurred four times. It is established that earthquakes with maximum magnitude 9 are possible in the mountainous regions of Southeastern Kazakhstan.


rock falls landslides seismogenic debris flows strong earthquakes seismogenic damage 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Golitsyn, B., On the Earthquake of February 18, 1911, Izv. Imper. Akad. Nauk, 1915, no. 11, pp. 991–998 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mushketov, I.V., The Vernyi Earthquake of May 28 (June 9), 1887, Trudy Geol. Komiteta, 1890, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 1–140 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bogdanovich, K.I., Kark, I.M., Korol’kov, B.Ya., and Mushketov, D.I., The Earthquake of December 22 1910 (January 4, 1911) in the Northern Chains of Tien-Shan, Trudy Geol. Komiteta, Novaya Seriya, 1914, issue 89, pp. 1–203 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Close, U. and McCormick, E., Where the Mountains Walked, Nat. Geogr. Mag., 1922, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 445–464.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Evans, S.G., Roberts, N.J., Ischuck, A., Delaney, K.B., Morozova, G.A., and Tutubalina, O., Landslides Triggered by the 1949 Khait Earthquak, Tajikistan, and Associated Loss of Life, Eng. Geol., 2009, vol. 109, issues 3–4, pp. 195–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Solonenko, V.P., Determination of Earthquake Epicenter Zones From Geological Features, Izv. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Ser. Geol., 1962, no. 11, pp. 58–74 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cliff, L.S., Peru Earthquake of May 31, 1970; Engineering Geology Observations, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 511–521.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dunning, S., Mitchell, W., Rosser, N., and Pettey, D., The Hattian Bala Rock Avalanche and Associated Landslides Triggered by the Kashmir Earthquake of 8 October 2005, Eng. Geol., 2007, vol. 93, issues 3–4, pp. 130–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cui, P., Chen, X.Q., Zhu, Y.Y., Su, F.H., and Wei, F.Q., The Wenchuan Earthquake (May 12, 2008), Sichuan Province, China, and Resulting Geohazards, Nat. Hazards, 2011, vol. 56, issue 1, pp. 19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chigira, M., Wu, X., Inokuchi, T., and Wang, G., Landslides Induced by the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, Sichuan, China, Geomorphology, 2010, vol118, issues 3–4, pp. 225–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Miyagi, T., Higaki, D., Yagi, H., Doshida, Sh., Chiba, N.,Umemura, J., and Satoh, G., Reconnaissance Report on Landslide Disasters in Northeast Japan Following the M 9 Tohoku Earthquake, Landslides, 2011, vol. 8, issue 3, pp. 339–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Solonenko, V.P., Treskov, A.A. and Florensov, N.A., The Disastrous Gobi-Altai Earthquake of December 4, 1957, Moscow: Gosgeoltekhizdat, 1960 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Adams, J.E., Earthquake-Dammed Lakes in New Zealand, Geology, 1981, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 215–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Abdullaev, A.U. and Tukesheva, G.E., Hazardous Seismogeological Phenomena in Southeastern Kazakhstan, Proc. int. Conf. “Mountain Hazards–2013” (September 16–18, 2013, Bishkek), Bishkek: Pozitiv, 2013, pp. 58–59 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Medeuvov, A.R. and Nurlanov, M.T., Debris Flow Phenomena of Seismically Active Territories of Kazakhstan: Mangement Problems, Almaty: Karzhy-Karazhat, 1996 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mustafaev, S.T., Smolyar, V.A. and Burov, B.V., Hazardous Geological Processes on the Territory of Southeastern Kazakhstan, Almaty: Gylym, 2008 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kolotilin, N.F. and Bochkarev, V.P., Engineering-Geological Conditions of the Piedmont Zone of Trans-Ili Alatau, Alma-Ata, 1967 [ijn Russian].Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kurskeev, A.K., Timush, A.V. and Shatsilov, V.I., Seismic Zoning of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty: Evero, 2000 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ryabenko, O.V. and Sokolov, A.N., Instrumental Records of Earthquakes of Almaty Region, Nuclear Potential of the Republic of Kazakhstan: Collection of Reports, Astana: Foliant, 2014, pp. 10–16 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nurmagambetov, A.N., The Seismic History of Almaty, Almaty: Nauka, 1999 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mikhailova, N.N., Aristova, I.L. and Mukambaev, A.S., Unified Catalog of Earthquakes on the Territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Neighboring Regions (From Ancient Times till 2009), Vestn. Nauch. Yader. Tsentra Respubliki Kazakhstan, 2015, no. 3, pp. 132–143 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    World Data Center for Solid Earth Physics. Catalog of Earthquakes in the USSR. URL: http://www.wdcb. ru/sep/seismology/search/ (Accessed 6.5.2015) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Seismological Experimental-Methodological Expedition MON RK. URL: 6.1.2015) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    IRIS Earthquake Browser. URL: (Accessed 6.10.2015).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gorbunov, A.P., On the Age of Large Alma-Aty Lake, Izv. KazSSR, Ser. Geol., 1989, no. 4, pp. 78–80 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Medeu, A.R., Baimoldaev, T.A. and Kirenskaya, T.L., Debris Flow Phenomena of Southeastern Kazakhstan: Anthology of Debris Flow Phenomena and Their Investigations, Almaty: Gylym, 2016 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Keefer, D.K., Landslides Caused by Earthquakes, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 1984, vol. 95, no. 4, pp. 406–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Medeu
    • 1
  • V. P. Blagoveshchenskii
    • 1
  • V. V. Zhdanov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyKazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of KazakhstanAlmatyKazakhstan

Personalised recommendations