Department of mud volcanism

Head of department Dr., professor Aliyev Adil Abas Ali oglu

Tel.: +(99412) 5394052
Fax: +(99412) 4975285
E-mail: [email protected]

Azerbaijan and adjacent Caspian water area are a unique and classical region of mud volcanism development over the planet; about 400 terrestrial and marine mud volcanoes (active, extinct, buried, underwater, insular, abundant oil emitting) are concentrated here.

More than 50 years mud volcanoes have been studying at the Institute of geology. At the beginning of 70-ies the Institute was affirmed as the head organization on study of mud volcacanoes of Alpine folded belt in the South of the former USSR.

The main research trends are the following:
  • tectono-structural peculiarities and patterns of spatial-temporary distribution of mud volcanoes, their connection with abyssal processes;
  • geochemical investigations of mud volcanoes eruption products;
  • mineralogy of mud volcanism;
  • modeling of processes and mud volcano manifestation mechanism;
  • working put geologo-geochemical criteria of HC accumulation prediction in deep-subsided zones and methods of prospecting works in mudvolcanic regions.

The results of long standing complex investigations of mud volcanoes are:

  • “Atlas of mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan” was published for the first time in the world geological publications.
  • An interconnection between mud volcano formation and the processes taking place in Cenozoic molasse troughs as well as the role of Paleogene-Miocenic oil-gas producing rocks in mud volcanism manifestation.
  • A regularity in mud volcanoes spatial distribution and their manifestation along submeridional regional faults and sublatitudinal anticlinal zones have been established.
  • A new fault structures and unicorn-blocks between them characterized by different peculiarities of mud volcanoes manifestation were established as a result of the space and aerial photographs interpretation taking into consideration all the geologo-geophysical data.
  • A new morphogenetic classification of mud volcanoes has been developed.
  • For the first time the two genetically interconnected components are defined: mud volcanoes and mudvolcanic manifestations and also abundant oil emitting volcanoes and manifestations.
  • The consanguinity between mud volcano activation and seismicity (by gasohydro-geolchemical indicators) has been revealed.
  • The peculiarities of dynamics in mudvolcano eruption were studied over the last two centuries (405 recorded eruptions on 93 volcanoes).
  • Isotopic-geochemical investigations of fluids (gases, waters, oils) and rocks ejected by volcanoes have been conducted.
  • A high boron content in mudvolcanic breccia and waters in many regions of volcanism development has been revealed.
  • Geochemical peculiarities and biologically active matters of volcanic mud are studied for the first time.
  • It is worked out a new geochemical; method for search of deep-seated oil and gas deposits in mudvolcanic areas as well as mapping method of extinct submarine mud volcanoes; both of method are inculcated in exploration fields.
  • For the first time submarine gas-hydrates are revealed in the Caspian abyssal mudvolcanic vents and their chemical and isotopic composition is studed.
  • Mud volcanism physic-chemical and sedimo-geological models are compiled.
  • The gas balance calculation method for Azerbaijan terrestrial and submarine mud volcanoes has been worked out for the first time.
  • Natural bitumens are studied as alternative (non-traditional) HC sources related to mud volcanoes and the Eocene combustible shales in volcanic reccia as well.
  • For the first time it is stated an opinion of potential possibilities of Eocenic deposits for HC generation at abyssal depths.
  • The new terrestrial and buried volcanoes in the Eastern Azerbaijan have been found on the base of mud volcanoes structural position study and analysis of the results of aerospacephotomaterials interpretation.
  • The time-spatial behavior of mud volcanoes distribution in Azerbaijan connected with late orogenic phases of Alpine tectogenesis has been established.

Ecological problems:

  • Mercury content and radioactive fields peculiarities are studied in mudvolcanic zones.
  • Some activities are taken for creation of mud volcanoes sanctuaries which have got a status of natural monuments.

The results of carried out geologo-geochemical investigation of mud volcanoes are reflected in the following scientific publications: “Atlas of mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan”, (1971), “Map of mud volcanoes in oil and gas bearing regions of Azerbaijan”, scale 1:500000 (1978), in books “Mud volcanism of the Soviet Union and its connection with oil and gas content” (1980), “Mud volcanoes and their role in oil and gas content prediction” (1987), “Map of mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan and adjacent Caspian water area”, scale 1:500000, compiled on geodynamic basis (2003), “Geological map of Gobustan mud volcanoes”, scale 1:100000 (2003), “Cataloques of recorded mud volcano eruptions in Azerbaijan for a period 1810-2007” (2002 and 2009) in Russian and English, “Mud volcano activity modeling in connection with oil-gas content prediction” (2007) and also in many scientific international and republican publications. Atlas of the world mud volcanoes in Azeri, English and Russian is being prepared for the press.

 Gryphons in crater field of the onshore mud volcano 

The island mud volcano

The submarine mud volcano in the Nakhchyvansky block

“Catalogue of mud volcanoes eruptions
of Azerbaijan” (1810-2007)