Joint reports

Hazard from Onshore Mud Volcanoes

  • The executive companies: GIA / Azerbaijan International Oil Company (AIOC)
  • The year of publication: June 1995
  • Code: C-95-OPS-39
  • Volumes: total 3
    volumes with appendixes in same amount: 3


Eastern Azerbaijan and the adjacent Caspian Sea accommodates 227 mud volcanoes. Between 1810 and 1995, 236 eruptions have been recorded on 67 mud volcanoes. The remaining 160 mud volcanoes are quescent, but not extint; an eruption could occur at any moment on any of them. Thus, the mud volcanop on Zenbil (Duvanni) Island was characterized by gentle gryphon-dome activity for over 150 years, until 1961 when the first eruption occurred, which was repeated in 1995. Before the 1964 eruptions of Airantekyan on signs of activity had been observed. Subsequent eruptions took place in 1969, 1980 and 1990. Therefore, eruptions of mud volcanoes whic are in a quiscent, or even inactive phase, as with earthquakes, cannot be precisely predicted.

Twelve onshore and 3 offshore (island) volcanoes along the coast were selected to act as representative (or standard) examples during the present work. The volcanoes selected are characterized by frequent and powerful eruptions, and therefore present the greatest hazard t the surrounding environment.

Results of field studies of 15 mud volcanoes, together with interpretations of aerial and satellite photographs, are presented in this study. The data obtained from mud volcanoes on the western margin of the South Caspian Basin have been synthesised and analyses, and used as the basis of an evaluation of the parameters of mud-volcanic activity.

One of the main aims of this work is to study possible hazards whih may arise in the area of active mud volcanoes. In order to achieve this, the characteristics of mud-volcano activity, the extent of mud-volcanoc breccia, the lenght of outflow tongues, the dimensions of fractures and crush-zones within the breccia, and the crush-zones within the breccia, and the aerial development of domes, salses and gryphons have been determined. Radiometric studies have baan undertaken to distinguish concealed fractures. The thermal field of mud volcanoes has also been studied. This has resulted resulted in an assessment of the hazard arising from paroxysmic eruptions of mud volcanoes, allowing for flows of mud-volcano breccia, fractures, crush zones and subsidence, together with powerful emissions of burining gas.


  1. List of text figures
  2. List of text tables
  3. List of figures in enclosures
  4. List of aerial photographs in enclosures
  5. List of photographs in enclosures
  6. List of aerial photographic surveys in enclosures


Chapter I. General information about mud volcanoes

1.1 A little about mud-volcano eruptions
1.2 Use of terms

Chapter II. Classification of mud volcanoes and their interpretations

Chapter III. Results of field studies and interpretations of aerial phorograph and aerial survey data

3.1 Results of field studies of representative mud volcanoes
3.2 Interpretation of data from remote sensing surveys

Chapter IV. Evaluation of parameters of mud-volcanic activity

4.1 Craters, and flows of mud-volcanic breccia
4.2 Fractures, and zones of uplifts and subsidence
4.3 Gas emissions from mud volcanoes
4.4 Analysis of results of interpretation of satellite and aerial photography
4.5 Results of radiometric studies
4.6 Thermal fields on mud volcanoes

Chapter V. Periodicity of mud-volcano eruptions

5.1 Results of statistical analysis of data from mud volcano eruptions

Chapter VI. Possible hazards in areas of mud volcanoes

6.1 Danger from flows of mud-volcano breccia
6.2 Possible hazards from various fractures on mud volcanoes
6.3 Danger from gas emissions on mud volcanoes when developing areas where they occur


Complete list of the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan