Composite regional catalogs of earthquakes in the former Soviet Union

Open-File Report 2002-500




Seismological study of the territory of the former Soviet Union developed in the 20th century with the approach of maintaining constant observations with standard instrumentation and methods of data processing, determining standardized parameters describing the seismic sources, and producing regular summary publications. For most of the century, event data were published only in Russian and were generally unavailable to the Western scientific community. Yet for many regions of this vast territory, earthquakes with magnitudes less than 2 were routinely located and characterized, especially since the early 1960s. A great volume of data on the seismicity of the Eurasian land mass is therefore available, although to date only in scattered publications and for incomplete periods of time.

To address this problem, we have undertaken a comprehensive compilation, documentation and evaluation of catalogs of seismicity of the former Soviet Union. These include four principal, Soviet-published catalog sources, supplemented by other publications. We view this as the first step in compiling a complete catalog of all known seismic events in this large and important region. Completion of this work will require digitizing the remaining catalogs of the various regional seismological institutes.

To make these data more useful for regional seismic investigations, as well as to be consistent with their provenance, we have prepared composite regional catalogs, dividing the territory of the former Soviet Union into 24 regions. For each of these regions, all the data available from the basic catalog sources (see below) have been combined and evaluated. Note that, for regions with low seismicity, the historical (non-instrumental, macro-seismic) data are of increased importance. Such information, if not included in any summary, were taken from various publications and marked as "historical".

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Composite regional catalogs of earthquakes in the former Soviet Union
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
53 p.