March 13, 2020

Azerbaijan is the birthplace of mud volcanism. There are more than 350 mud volcanoes in the territory of Eastern Azerbaijan and the region covering adjacent Caspian Sea aquatoria.

Azerbaijan is unique not only for the number, but also for the diversity and activity of mud volcanoes. Thats why Azerbaijan volcanoes take attention of foreign specialists. A lot of them cooperate with Azerbaijani scientists in the study of a number of major aspects of mud volcanism problems.

Since the 90s of the last century, the scientists and the specialists of foreign oil companies (BP, Statoil, Exxon) and a number of European universities have studied the Azerbaijan mud volcanoes.

Since 2010, the international scientific relations have grown significantly. Over the last few years, the scientists of the ANAS Institute of Geology and Geophysics conducted researches in various directions in co-operation with the scientists from Russia, Ukraine and France and obtained a number of new scientific results.
In 2010-2015, in cooperation with the scientists of the Geological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), joint researches were conducted on “Modern geodynamics, fluid regime, and oil-and-gas content of the Caucasus region”. Gases, water, and rock fragments outcropped on the earth surface by volcanoes were studied in more detail.

It should be noted that for the first time the isotopic-geochemical analysis of pyrites and carbonaceous interlayers of rocks was carried out from 20 mud volcanoes ejects located in different regions of Azerbaijan. As a result the spatial zonation in the pyrites distribution, the important role of diagenetic processes in the carbonates formation were established.

Since 2017, in cooperation with the Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the joint research and practice work on “Geological and geochemical studies of the migration of underground fluids of mud volcanoes” has been carried out. The monitoring of Azerbaijan mud volcanoes is carrying out.

Since 2012, in cooperation with the scientists of the Center for Problems of Marine Geology, Geoecology and Sedimentary Ore Formation of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the researches have been carried out in several scientific directions.

1. Mud volcanism of the Azov-Black Sea and Caspian basins;
2. Comparative analysis of mud volcanism of the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian seas;
3. Accessory mineralization of the mud volcanic breccia of Azerbaijan.

The space-time patterns of the mud volcanoes distribution, their similar and differential peculiarities, as well as their relationship with oil and gas content were determined due to conducted works. The detection of new Antalya potential oil-and-gas bearing basin in the northeastern Mediterranean Sea is one of the significant results.

For the first time in Azerbaijan, a comprehensive study of the mineralogy of mud volcanoes was carried out, and the accessory mineralization of the mud volcanic breccia was studied.

The mineralogical studies of the mud volcanic breccias revealed tens of previously unknown minerals. The discovery of native metals (gold, golden-yellow copper, iron, nickel, chromium, titanium, silver, tin, copper, lead, zinc) is a significant amount of interest.

Since 2016, the researches have been carried out on some mud volcanoes of the Shamakhi-Gobustan and Absheron regions and on the SE Shirvan in cooperation with the company “Total E&P Azerbaijan B.V / Total E&P Absheron B.V”. The space material, a drone were used, the surveying was carried out, the physical properties of fluids and the breccias of mud volcanoes were studied.

A number of young French researchers – the students from Toulouse and Lille universities passed Ph.D. and masters theses defense based on the results of the conducted researches.

The researches in collaboration with French scientists will continue this year.

Public Relations Department
ANAS Institute of Geology and Geophysics