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Laboratory for Complex Study and Monitoring of Geodynamic Processes in the Kuril-Kamchatka subduction Zone

Invited researcher Nikolay Mikhaylovich Shapiro
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As of 18.05.2020

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scientific publications
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General information

Name of the project: Geophysical research, monitoring and forecasting development of catastrophic processes in the Far Eastern region of Russia

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: ж, а

Goals and objectives

Research directions: Earth studies and related ecological sciences

Project objective: Developing modern technologies of analysis and interpretation of field and satellite geophysical data, their implementation into research practices, monitoring and forecasting active geophysical processes in subduction zones

The practical value of the study

  • We have developed innovative methods for analysis of geophysical data: a method for analyzing eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the matrices of continuous seismic records from a network of seismographs for detecting seismic and volcanic tremors and locting their sources; a method for detecting low frequency filters of earthquakes using matched filters and «template-based correlation»; a method for analyzing catalogs of earthquakes based on statistical spectral representation of spot processes for determining the level of spatio-temporal clusterization of sources; a method reproduces filtration applicable in the process of building gravitational models of   GRACE satellites.
  • The Laboratory has collected databases of satellite data (monthly models of gravitational field, radar images, GPS data) for achieving the project's goals.
  • On the basis of seismological data we have produced and analyzed catalogs of seismological tremors and low frequency earthquakes and investigated the structure of the crust under the Klyuchevskaya volcano group. On the basis of analysis of low frequency volcanic earthquakes at Tolbachik we have shown that level of spatio-temporal clusterization decreases over several days before major eruptions, thus the proposed method can be used for monitoring volcanic eruptions.
  • We have conducted regular hydroseismological observations. We have completed paleoseismological research on the coast of the Kronotsky bay and on the Shpunsky peninsula as well as works to interpret earlier collected data along the coast of the Avachinsky bay.
  • The Laboratory has conducted geological assay of the Malko-Petropavlosk dislocation zone. We have found and studied 33 earlier unknown tsunamis on the coast of the Avachinsky bay. A tefrochronological scale has been compiled that allows to correlate and date seismic events and tsunamis.
  • We have conducted analysis of applicability of various technologies of satellite radar images processing and assessing displacement fields of the Earth's surface in the Kuril–Kamchatka subduction zone (KKSZ including methods of coupled interferometry interferometry, stable and distributed deflectors. The method for assessing displacement fields of the Earth's surface has been applied in earthquake and volcanic activity zones in the KKSZ and allowed to receive the first results of computations for the Kluchevskaya volcano group. New displacement fields have been found for the Olyutorskiy earthquake and started building a new model the surface of the rupture using GPS data.
  • We have conducted analysis of behavior of temporal series of gravitational anomalies in different regions of the KKSZ. We found several regions where changes of behavior of temporal series had occurred – leaps or changes of inclination of the linear trend. A pert of these regions us adjacent to seismic event sites (of the Simurshkoye and the Ohostsk Sea earthquakes).
  • To interpret observations of low frequency earthquakes we have investigated the problem of evolution of pressure during migration of deep fluids (magma) and seismic signals generated in the process.
  • We have developed, manufactured a prototype and tested a new generation multi-channel system in various experiments. The systems can register both signals of acoustic emission and service information without data loss over the whole duration of an experiment.
  • The Laboratory has proposed and successfully tested methods for conducting experiments in destruction of samples of rock materials in application to the project's goals. We have developed specialized databases and used them for data storage and analysis.

Implemented results of research:

  • We have developed a computer software complex for real-time computation of cross-correlations of continuous seismic records and their usage for localization of tremor sources. Since December 2018 the developed complex has been used at the Kamchatka office of the Geophysical Survey of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
  • We have used the DInSAR technology to analyze images from ERS-2 satellite that depicted the Olyutorskiy earthquake that happened on 20 April 2006. We compiled a coupled interferogram from images made on 19 October 2005 and 11 July 2017 and assessed coseismic   displacements field and we will interpret our analysis in 2019.
  • We have developed a method for determining suspected cohesive zone from graph of repetitiveness of earthquakes. We have conducted statistical analysis of catalogs of tectonic earthquakes in Kamchatka and a number of other regions with similar and different tectonics.
  • We have developed and registered two software programs: «Program for controlling modules for registration deformation characteristics of rock samples» and «Program for analysis of wave forms of signals in ultrasound probing». Both programs have been successfully used at the Laboratory and in conducting laboratory experiments for modeling processes of destruction of rock formation.

Education and career development:

  • We have conducted field practice in Kamchatka for students of the Department of Earth Physics of the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University and the «Mutnovskaya» international field volcanology school for masters students of the Moscow State University where the head of the project read lectures (2018).
  • Nikolay Shapiro has read the «Modern methods of analysis of seismological data» lecture course at the Moscow State University (Russia).


  • Geophysical Survey of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia): joint research, scientific events, organizing field practice for students and postgraduates, developing a complex of computer software for a computer software complex for real-time computation of cross-correlations of continuous seismic records and their usage for localization of tremor sources, a collaborative «Mutnovskaya» summer school for students and postgraduates
  • Moscow State University (Russia): collaborative educational activities, creation and implementation of the «Modern methods of seismological data analysis» lecture course

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Frank W.B., Shapiro N.M., Gusev A.A.
Progressive Reactivation of the Volcanic Plumbing System Beneath Tolbachik Volcano (Kamchatka, Russia) Revealed by Long-Period Seismicity. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 493: 47–56 (2018).
Gomez-Garcıa C., Brenguier F., Boue P., Shapiro N.M., Droznin D.V., Droznina S.Ya., Senyukov S.L., Gordeev E.I.
Retrieving Robust Noise-Based Seismic Velocity Changes from Sparse Data Sets: Synthetic Tests and Application to Klyuchevskoy Volcanic Group (Kamchatka). Geophysical Journal International 214(2): 1218–1236 (2018).
Shapiro N.M., Campillo M., Kaminski E., Vilotte J.-P., Jaupart C.
Low-Frequency Earthquakes and Pore Pressure Transients in Subduction Zones. Geophysical Research Letters 45(20): 11,083–11,094 (2018).
Soubestre J., Shapiro N.M., Seydoux L., Rosny J.de, Droznin D.V., Droznina S.Ya., Senyukov S.L., Gordeev E.I.
Network-Based Detection and Classification of Seismovolcanic Tremors: Example from the Klyuchevskoy Volcanic Group in Kamchatka. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123(1): 564–582 (2018).
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