2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


GARTHWAITE, Matthew1, MOONEY, Walter1, MEDLIN, Jack2, HOLZER, Tom1, MCGARR, Art3 and BOHANNON, Robert G.4, (1)U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Rd, MS 977, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (2)U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 917, Reston, VA 20192, (3)U.S. Geological Survey, MS 977, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (4)U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, mgarthwaite@usgs.gov

Afghanistan is located in a tectonically active region at the western extent of the Indo-Asian collision zone, where ongoing deformation has generated rugged mountainous terrain, and where large earthquakes occur frequently. These earthquakes can cause damage, not only from strong ground shaking and surface rupture, but also from liquefaction and extensive land sliding. The magnitude 6.1 earthquake of March 25, 2002 highlighted the vulnerability of Afghan communities to such hazards, and resulted in at least 1000 fatalities.

This training course in modern earthquake hazard assessments is an integral part of the international effort to provide technical assistance to Afghanistan using an “end-to-end” approach. This approach involves providing assistance in all stages of hazard assessment, from identifying earthquakes, to disseminating information on mitigation strategies to the public. The particular focus of this training course, held December 2-6, 2006 at the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul, was to provide a solid background in the relevant seismological and geological methods for preparing for future earthquakes. With this information, participants may now be expected to educate other members of the Afghan community, in addition to themselves being actively involved in earthquake hazard assessments and building the capabilities of the Afghan Geological Survey.

The training course was taught using a series of PowerPoint lectures, with all lectures being presented in English and translated into Dari. The majority of lecture slides were also annotated in both English and Dari. Lectures were provided to the students in both hardcopy and digital formats. As part of the on-going USGS participation in the program, additional training sessions are planned in the subjects of field geology, modern concepts in Earth science, mineral resource assessments and applied geophysics.