Present Status of Monitoring Earthquakes in Kurdistan, Iraq

Fadhil I. Khudhur , Bakir S. Ali , Aras M. Tawfiq , Hafidh A. A. Ghalib & Ghassan I.Aleqabi
Directorate General of Meteorology and Seismology, Erbil, Iraq
Directorate of Meteorology and Seismology, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq
Array Information Technology, 5130 Commercial Drive, Suite B, Melbourne, FL 32940, USA
Washington University in Saint Louis, Campus Box 1169, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130, USA


Abstract

Kurdistan, Iraq, is located at the leading northeastern edge of the Arabian plate. Its
tectonic framework is a manifestation of the northeast translational and counterclockwise
rotational motion of the plate and its collision with the Iranian and Turkish plateaus.
Historically, this dynamic setting has subjected the region to frequent seismic activity.
Starting in 2005 Kurdistan embarked on collaborative projects to establish an advanced
seismographic network that covers the region. The goal is to collect an unprecedented
wealth of high quality data that can be effectively used to understand the seismotectonic
framework and eventually the seismic risk throughout the region. In 2006 the North Iraq
Seismographic Network (NISN) was deployed. It consists of ten three-component
broadband stations equipped with STS-2 seismometers, 24 bits Q330 digitizers and
20GB Baler storage devices. In 2008, the five-element KSIRS array was added to
further improve the network’s local and regional monitoring capabilities. KSIRS is
equipped with STS-2 seismometers, 26 bits Q330HR digitizers, 16GB Marmot data
loggers, and radio and satellite communication systems. The data are analyzed using the
Antelope software system installed at the centers in Sulaimaniyah and Erbil. Since
inception some of the NISN stations have been relocated. Plans are underway to build
permanent underground vaults and equip all the stations with telemetry. So far this
seismographic network has outperformed the international community’s reporting of the
regional seismicity by 8:1. Participation in the virtual Middle East Seismographic
Network (vMESN) has also greatly enhanced the NISN network performance.

Key Words:
NISN
KSIRS
Kurdistan
Iraq
Earthquakes
Seismic Network
Seismic Stations

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