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Digital geological and natural hazard maps of the inner Tien-Shan (Kyrgyzstan)

English title Digital geological and natural hazard maps of the inner Tien-Shan (Kyrgyzstan)
Applicant Burg Jean-Pierre
Number 110694
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Departement Erdwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geology
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 30.11.2008
Approved amount 72'000.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Social geography and ecology
Information Technology

Keywords (4)

Kyrgyzstan; Tien Shan; seismic hazards; geology

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
This project will produce a digital geological map at the scale 1: 200 000 and the associated explanatory notes on the western Tien-Shan.
The western segment of “the major Tien-Shan structural line” (the “Nikolaev Line”) is reputedly separating the Hercynides and the Caledonides of the Tien-Shan Mountains. The international literature on regional and global reconstructions of the Paleozoic systems is flawed and often erroneous because the information about this zone remains concealed.
Perhaps more than the scientific aspects, we are particularly alarmed by the highly sensitive societal issues that this region raises. The Suusamyr earthquake (1992, M=7.3) was unexpected both by inhabitants and by the world scientists because the Inner Tien Shan was considered to be almost inactive in terms of neotectonic deformation and seismicity. Several international research teams have visited the earthquake center zone during the 2-4 years following the earthquake. However, competition between these teams prevented the systematic description of active faults and seismogenic dislocations in the Suusamyr earthquake zone. Accordingly, the seismicity of the Inner Tien-Shan has yet to be specified because the risks remain today under-evaluated. We will produce the necessary documentation to improve this knowledge. This information will be extremely important to another point of high apprehension: is the need of detailed geological description of territories that will be flooded after the construction of two hydroelectric power stations on the Naryn River.The flooded area is salt-rich, and the water table will be irremediably polluted. The 100 000 inhabitants living in the Ketmen-Tube Basin, downstream the Naryn River, will lose their water resource. The detailed geological map we may produce will emphasise how insufficiently planned and somewhat senseless are both hydrotechnical projects. The map will take advantage of all archives and focused fieldwork to control crucial geological relationships. The digital form of the geological map will allow access from the Internet to a wide range of users.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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