Abstract

Reservoir‐triggered seismicity (RTS) has been observed globally in large dam operations since the mid‐twentieth century. Addressing the threat posed by RTS is critical, especially for reservoirs located in seismically active regions with high‐population densities. Armenia is one such area. Situated in the Caucasus continental‐collision zone, almost all of the country is subject to high levels of seismic activity, and its numerous large reservoirs in densely populated areas make it especially susceptible to damage from RTS. Here, we analyze RTS for the three highest risk reservoirs in Armenia: Azat, Akhuryan, and Tolors. We analyze earthquake frequency and b‐value changes near each reservoir, and using a modified version of “Cellular Seismology” (CS), we analyze the associated RTS activity and explore how spatial patterns of seismicity change with reservoir impoundment.

In this study, we explore the possibility that CS might provide new insight into RTS. CS is a statistical method that seeks to measure the tendency for past seismicity to forecast likely locations of future earthquakes. Here, we explore repurposing CS for RTS analysi,s experimenting with four types of application of CS to the study of RTS, and we discuss how some variation of a modified CS method might be useful for analyzing RTS.

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