Geoekologiya, 2021, Vol. 2, P. 27-40


N. G. Mavlyanova1,*, R. S. Ibragimov2,**, T. L. Ibragimova2,  
Kh. Kh. Rakhmatullaev3,*** 

1Sergeev Institute of Environmental Geoscience, Russian Academy of Sciences,

Ulanskii per., 13 bld.2, Moscow, 101000 Russia

2Mavlyanov Institute of Seismology, Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences,

ul. Zul'fiyakhonim, 3, Tashkent, 100128 Uzbekistan

3Institute of hydrogeology and engineering geology, University of Geological Sciences, Uzbekistan State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources,

ul. Olimlar, 64, Tashkent, 100041 Uzbekistan

*E-mail: georisk2015@mail.ru 
** E-mail: ibrroma@yandex.com
*** E-mail: khikmat@mail.ru

Central Asia is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, where historical earthquakes with a magnitude > 8 are known. Earthquake-induced ground failures cause numerous human casualties and significant economic damage to the Central Asian region (CAR). This process is considered to be secondary in respect to ground vibrations caused by earthquakes proper. However, the experience in earthquake study gained in many countries of the world proves that the destructive effect of seismically induced ground failure can exceed manifold the direct damage from seismic impacts. The paper analyzes the principal factors that control the earthquake- triggered ground failure in CAR by the example of Uzbekistan territory. They are the following:  seismic-tectonic, morphological and geological-structural factors, as well as strength characteristics of soils, precipitation, groundwater, and anthropogenic impacts. Strong earthquakes in CAR countries (with a magnitude of M> 5.0) occur in rather narrow extended zones, stretching along the strike of large deep faults between tectonic blocks in the Earth's crust. The estimated recurrence rate of intense earthquakes in the seismically active zones of Uzbekistan (obtained from the Gutenberg-Richter formula) can serve as an indirect index of the average long-term landslide activity in these zones. The recurrence period of intense earthquakes (magnitude M> 5.0) ranges from 2-3 to 25-30 years in Uzbekistan. In addition to local seismic effects caused by the earthquakes that take place directly within these seismically active structures, the landslide activity can be triggered by the strongest (with a magnitude M> 7.0) regional distant earthquakes, occurring in CAR countries far away from these structures. Remote seismic events are characterized by low-frequency and long-lasting seismic vibrations; they occur mainly in the Hindu Kush focal zone, in the Pamir, Talas-Fergana, North Tien Shan, and South Tien Shan seismically active zones, as well as in the Kopetdag region. In Central Asia, the specific mechanisms of formation and development of major seismically induced landslides result from the fact that the zones of high seismic activity are often confined to the areas covered by loess soils. Loess is known to be a rather stable ground under natural conditions; however, its load-bearing capacity falls abruptly on moistening, which favors landslide intensification upon the external impact. The study of formation conditions, development mechanisms and the prediction of landslide intensification by seismic impacts appears to be an important aspect in the assessment of natural geologic risks.

Keywords: seismic hazard, earthquake-induced ground failure, Central Asia, Uzbekistan



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