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Landslide risk triggered by earthquakes in Kyrgystan, Tian-Shan


Foreseen Results

The major outputs will be a series of maps: landslide distribution and susceptibility, a seismotectonic map, map of earthquakes epicentres and induced landslides and a map of the regional seismic hazard.
The project will also contribute to the understanding of the processes leading to individual landslides in the area. For each areas exposed to landslides, recommendations will be given to avoid further landslides, as comments on the practical techniques to apply in order to prevent damages and to remedy in the case of a slope failure. Results will be presented in a detailed way to the Kyrgyz authorities and Academy of Sciences, and also presented and published to an international audience.
Landslides, rockfall and avalanches induced by earthquakes can have catastrophic consequences when they occur in populated and environmentally sensible areas. Kyrgystan, a Central Asian republic of the former Soviet Union which lies in the middle of the Tian Shan mountains is particularly at risk for landslides triggered by earthquakes. This is a direct consequence of the youthfulness of the Tian Shan mountains and the high degree of tectonic and seismic activity, related to the collision and convergence of India into Eurasia.

The proposed project is aimed at evaluating the landslide risk associated with earthquakes in the Tian Shan region of Kyrgystan, and particularly in two regions : the northern Tian Shan region where metastable landslides are triggered by earthquakes and the Talas-Fergana fault zone where ground movement by creep is activated as landslides by earthquakes. The project expects to define the characteristics of landslides in the considered seismic areas which are to be triggered by forthcoming earthquakes, to define a methodological approach for the prediction of earthquake triggered landslides and to estimate the risks for the two selected regions. It will combine different methodological approaches involving a close collaboration between the participating teams.

The working programme consists in three related approaches :

At the regional scale, it will concentrate on the mapping of landslides and their characteristics by remote sensing techniques, digital elevation models and GIS supported mapping; geological and dynamical characterization of potential active fault zones; characterization of the seismically active zones by seismological data and the assessment of the seismic hazard in the area.
At the local scale, the study will be focused on a few typical landslides and will include the following steps : synthesis of the existing geological and geotechnical data, and back-analysis of previous landslides; geotechnical investigations; evaluation of site effects ont he ground accelerations and modelling of landslides with pseudo-static and dynamic methods.
The data collected at the regional and local scales will be synthesized to evaluate the landslides risk int the Tian Shan region. Proposals will be made to limit the risk and to monitor landslides. The conclusions of the work will be transmitted to the Kyrgyz authorities via the National Academy of Science.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Musée Royal d'Afrique Centrale
13,Steenweg Op Leuven
3080 Tervuren

Participants (4)

Rue Albert Einstein, 250
06560 Valbonne
Institute of Geology and Geophysics -Russian Academy of Sciences
3,Universitetskii Prospect
630090 Novosibirsk 90
Institute of Seismology - National Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic
52/1,Mkr. Asambay
720060 Bishkek 60
Boulevard Du Rectorat - Sart Tilman B19
4000 Liege