Reservoir-induced seismicity at Nurek Reservoir in Tajikistan: case example
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
Students study the Nurek Reservoir area in Google Earth and make interpretations about the general bedrock geology (layered rock, probably sedimentary; variable dips, probably folded; maybe faulted). Each student makes observations and interpretations in Google Earth placemarks and saves them as a kmz file. Students then do a little sleuthing on the tectonic setting of the region and describe how modern plate motions influence this part of Tajikistan. Students then do some simple calculations and use a Mohr circle diagram to evaluate various aspects of the reservoir induced seismicity at Nurek and address the question of why most big reservoirs do not, in fact, experience reservoir induced seismicity. The activity wraps up with analysis of the vulnerability of Nurek Dam to a Vaoint Dam-type disaster. The latter ties together the observations that students made in Google Earth about regional geology, the existence of reservoir induced seismicity, and the tectonic setting.
have sometimes followed this up with an assignment in which students read Leith (1981), listed below in the references, with the abstract cut off. Their task is to write a suitable abstract for the article. Thanks to Jan Tullis at Brown for the idea for this writing assignment!
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
Leith, William, 1981, Structure and permeability; geologic controls on induced seismicity at Nurek Reservoir, Tadjikistan, USSR: Geology, v. 9, no. 10, p. 440-444.