University of Sulaimani in Collaboration with UALR Installed Advanced Seismic Observatory Station

Post date: Sep 22, 2015 6:58:50 AM

University of Sulaimani President, Prof. Dr. Salahalddin Saeed Ali, officially opened an advanced seismic observatory station at School of Science on Sunday September 20th 2015, in a special ceremony. Prof. Dr. Salahalddin Saeed Ali stated that "we are celebrating the fruit of a productive collaboration between University of Sulaimani (UoS) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) by officially opining the first University of Sulaimani seismic observatory station". We congratulate and thank the research teams from both universities on the job well done."

For the last several years, faculty members form the University of Sulaimani (UoS) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) established a collaborative research program in seismology and seismic risk assessment for the region. Several training workshops and meetings were conducted to pave the way and to allocate the resources to accomplish the goals set for this collaboration. One of these goals was to install an advanced and state of the art seismic observatory station in the city of Sulaimani.

Dr. Al-Shukri and Dr. Mahdi of UALR provided the hardware components and the computational facilities for the station. Dr. Bakhtiar Aziz and Dr. Omar Kader of UoS provided the logistics and constructed the seismic bench and provided all the resources for the installation. They also provided the needed computing facilities for data retrieval and archiving, data analysis, and research.

The observatory consists of two main stations. The first is the broadband station and the second is the strong motion station. The broadband station designed to record local, regional, and global earthquakes. For example, during the testing period for the last few days, the station was able to record the 8.3 Magnitude Chile Earthquake. It also was able to record at least two very small earthquakes around the City of Sulaimani. This station operate continuously and its data can be viewed at any time by the operator. The strong motion station on the other hand records very strong vibrations of the ground generated by local or regional earthquakes. The results of this station is useful for calculating the engineering factors that are used to design buildings that can withstand large earthquakes. The research team believes that this station is the first of its kind to be installed in Iraq.

The opining of the observatory is considered the first step toward establishing a major monitoring system for the entire Sulaimani area and its surroundings. This will be done by installing a network of many stations to help map active faults and possibly forecast for the future earthquakes. The station and the future network will help faculty and graduate students conduct their research. It also will help train undergraduate students in the field of seismology and earthquake engineering.