European Centre on geodynamical Hazards of High Dams GHHD
Tbilisi, Georgia



Address: Institute of Geophysics, 1 Alexidze str. Tbilisi 0171, Georgia

Tel.: (995 32) 33 28 67

Fax: (995 32) 33 28 67

E-mail: [email protected]



1996 Georgian-European Centre “Geodynamical Hazards of High Dams”

(GHHD) was founded in December 1995. The Center was affiliated to the

Ministry of Environment Protection of Georgia, according to the decision of the

board of Ministry of 14 February 1996. Now the GHHD is independent NGO.


President of the Scientific Committee: Dr. Martin Wieland

Director: Prof. T. Chelidze

Secretary General: Dr. T. Matcharashvili

Permanent staff of the Center: Assistant director: Prof. V. Abashidze, Head of Department of Slow Motions of Crust, Institute of Geophysics;

Treasurer: N. Taniashvili


The Centre is created for development of multinational, multidisciplinary approach to the problems of geodynamical hazards, generated by high dams, including:

  • development and testing of modern methods of multidisciplinary monitoring/diagnostics of local and regional geodynamical processes in the proximity of large dams on the basis of Enguri Arc Dam International Test Area;
  • creation of early warning systems;
  • mathematical modelling of geodynamical processes at large dams, prediction of impending geodynamical events (earthquakes, tectonic deformations, landslides) and prognosis of response of large dams to these impacts;
  • monitoring of processes and associated variations in physical properties of foundation rocks and dam material;
  • creation of databases of geodynamical observations on large dams;
  • analysis and generalization (in collaboration with other European centres) of possible geodynamical hazards, creation of scenarios of possible damage and instructions for public education on what to do in case of alarm, during and after the disaster;
  • active participation in international, regional and national projects related to major disasters and environmental problems.


Information, training, consultations
  • preparation of papers, CD-ROMs and monographs on methodical aspects of monitoring of large dams;
  • information for media on natural hazards; 3. organization of the courses on safety of high dams;
  • consultations for (participation in) European and National Expert Councils: European Advisory Committee on Earthquake Prediction; National Council at Department of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Georgian National Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Development of monitoring and early warning systems on the Enguri Dam International Test Area (EDITA):
  • geodynamical installation of modern tiltmeters NSH-1 (Russia); Applied Geomechanics (mod.701), USA; clinometrers, plumblines, strainmeters (Switzerland),
  • seismic – installation and running of accelerometric network (GeoSys, Switzerland)
  • Compilation of Data Bases of geophysical, geodynamical, etc data, collected during 30 years of observations.
  • Measurement of natural frequency of the dam and mechanical properties of dam material and foundation rocks.
  • Creation of modern probabilistic GIS-based seismic hazard maps of Caucasus, Georgia and some communities.
  • Creation of theory of scaling and strain-sensitivity of elastic properties.
  • Nonlinear analysis of monitoring data.
  • The scenario of flooding due to dam damage has been created (two-dimensional numerical model).

Besides EUR-OPA programs, the centre participates in related to Centres activity projects on disaster risk reduction (INTAS, INCO-COPERNICUS, NATO Science for Peace, ISTC, FP7) dealing with seismic risk reduction and environmental problems:

  • Seismic Risk in Large Cities of Caucasus: Tools for Risk Management 2001-2005 -NATO
  • Caucasian Seismic Information Network 20022005 ISTC
  • Strategy development for long term pollution control in regions of extreme environmental risk (ENVRISK) 2002-2004 INTAS
  • Prediction of major events in multiscale fracture based on the theory of critical phenomena. 2002-2004 INTAS Stress related geohazards in South Caucasus 2007-2008 INTASGeorgia
  • Open network of scientific Centers for mitigation risk of natural hazards in the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia 2007-2008ISTC
  • Assessment of radon-hazard potential, residential exposure, lung cancer and COPD in West Georgia 2007-2008 ISTU
  • Seismic Hazard and Risk of the South Caucasus-Northern Turkey energy corridor. 2008-2011 NATO SfP
  • EMME – Earthquake Model of the Middle East Region: Hazard, Risk Assessment, Economics and Mitigation 2010-2012
  • The first step to creation of real time geotechnical telemetric monitoring system of large dams : the case of the Enguri dam international Test area 2010-2011 STCU&GNSF
Services offered by the Centre
  • Monitoring of slow motions by tiltand strainmeters, piezometers; testing, installation and service
  • Seismic Hazard Assessment (Intensity, Peak Ground Acceleration, Spectra) using GIS; field registration of microand macroseismicity, paleoseismic investigations of construction areas
  • Engineering Geophysics: seismic and electrical surveys of foundation of dams
  • Measurement of Physical Properties of Foundation Rocks and dam material
  • Dam control/early warning system design and exploitation: geodetic, topographic, temperature surveys, clinometers, plumblines (design, installation and measurements), precise vertical drilling (Hydro-Quebec method).
  • Dam inspection, monitoring and maintenance.
  • Dam safety analysis, static and dynamic FEM analysis.


Cahiers du Centre Europeen de Geodynamique et de Seismologie, vol. vo16; Proceedings of the Workshop: Geodynamical Hazards Associated with LaLarge Dams. Ed. M. Bonatz, 1998 (5 papers of: T. Chelidze; V. Abashidze; et al)

Geophysical Monitoring of Geodynamical Processes in the Region of Enguri High Dam. Abashidze V. (2001) Metsniereba Publ. House, Tbilisi (in Russian).

Pressure Induced Percolation Transitions in Composites. Chelidze T. Gueguen Y. (1998). J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. V.31, 2877-2885.

CD: “International Test Site at Enguri High Arc Dam” (2001).

Earthquake prediction: Pro and Contra. In: Earthquake Hazard and Seismic risk Reduction. Chelidze T. (2000). Kluver AP, 225-229.

Large Caucasian Earthquakes of the end of XX century: an example of triggering? J. Georgian Geoph. Soc. V. 2A. 2-7, 1996 (T. Chelidze, L. Chelidze)

Microstructures, percolation thresholds and rock mechanical properties. Tectonophysics, v. 279, 23-35, 1997 (T. Chelidze, Y. Gueguen, M. Le Ravalec)

From classic to fractal mechanics of disordered media ; self-consistency versus self-similarity. In « Probamat-21 st Century ; Probabilities and Materials » (T. Chelidze, Y. Gueguen, M. Le Ravalec), Ed. G.N.Frantziskonis. Kluver, Netherlands. Pp.197231. 1998

Nonlinear analysis of magnitude and interevent time interval sequences for earthquakes of the Caucasian region.

Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics. v.7, 9-19, 2000 (T. Chelidze, T. Macharashvili, Z. Javakhishvili).

The digital accelerograph network in the Caucasus. In: Earthquake Hazard and Seismic Risk Reduction. Eds. S. Balassanian, A. Cisternas, M. Melkumyan. Kluver AP, 2000, pp. 109-115 (P. Smit, V. Arsoumanian, T. Chelidze, Z. Javakhishvili, S. Arefiev, D. Mayer-Rosa, S. Balassanian).

Seismicity and cultural monuments of Georgia. In: Earthquake Hazard and Seismic Risk Reduction. Eds. S. Balassanian, A. Cisternas, M. Melkumyan. Kluver AP, 2000, pp. 127-136 (V. Zaalishvili, T. Chelidze, O. Sulaberidze, O. Varazanashvili, Z. Javakhishvili).

Seismic Hazard of Northern Eurasia. (1999), Annali di Geofisica,vol.42, 1023-1039, (V. Ulomov, T. Chelidze et al).

Seismic hazard assessment for the Caucasus test area. Annali di Geofisica, (1999), vol.42, 1139-1151, (S. Balassanian, T. Chelidze et al).

Complexity in natural structures and dynamics (Fractals, Chaos and nonlinear time series analysis). ‘Geoprint’ Publ. House. Tbilisi, 2000 (T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze),(in Georgian).

Permanent water level drop associated with Spitak Earthquake : observations at Lisi borehole (Republic of Georgia) and modelling. Geophys. J. Int. 2000, 143, 83-98.

Impact of nonperiodic components in dynamics of water level variations in boreholes. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, v. 163, N2, 270-272, 2001 (T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze, G. Melikadze)

Evidence of deterministic chaos in Earth’s crust tilt dynamics. Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, v. 163, N1, 69-71, 2001 (T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze, V. Abashidze).

Seismogenic radio-emission as a signature of the earthquake preparation process. Journal of Georgian Geophysical Society, v. 6A, 3-17, 2001 (K. Eftaxias, Y.Polygiannakis, P.Kapiris, Z. Chelidze, D. Zilpimiani)

Detecting differences in temporal distribution of small earthquakes before and after large events. Computers and Geosciences, v.28, 693-700, 2002 (T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze).

Geophysical methods in Ecology and Catastrophe Management. (T. Chelidze), Tbilisi, 2003, 267 p. (in Georgian)

Time-dependent microtemperature and hydraulic signals associated with tectonic/seismic activity. (G. Buntebarth, T. Chelidze, Eds.) Tbilisi, 2005, 244 p.

CD: “International Test Site at Enguri High Arc Dam” (2001).

T. Chelidze, Yu. Kolesnikov, T.Matcharashvili. Seismological criticality concept and percolation model of fracture // Geophysical Journal International. 2006._ Vol. 164. – PP. 125-136.

T. Chelidze, T. Matcharashvili Increase in order in seismic process around large reservoir induced by water level periodic variation. Nonlinear Dynamics. – 2007, DOI 10.1007/sl11071-007-9219-0.

T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze, M. Janiashvili. Identification of complex processes based on analysis of phase space structures. In “Imaging for Detection and Identification”, NATO Security through Science

Abashidze V., Chelidze T., Kobakhidze T. 2006-2007. About water regulation norm of the Enguri water reservoir. Journal of Georgian Geophysical Society, 11A, 3-9.

Abashidze V., Javakhishvili Z., Khutsishvili T.,Meparidze E., Zhukova N., Chelidze T., Matcharashvili T. 2007, Increase of order in local seismic energy release caused by water level variation in the Enguri high dam reservoir. Bulletin of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, v.1,#3, 49-51

T. Chelidze, T. Matcharashvili. 2007, Complexity of seismic process; measuring and applications – A review. Tectonophysics. V. 431, 49-60

T. Chelidze, T. Matcharashvili, O. Lursmanashvili, N.Varamashvili. 2008, Acoustics of stick-slip deformation under external forcing: the model of seismic process synchronization. In: Advanced Topics of Geology and Seismology, Eds. D.Triantis, M.Jelenska, F.Vallianatos, Cambridge, WSEAS Press, pp. 36-43.

Т. Челидзе, Т. Мачарашвили, З. Джавахишвили, В. Абашидзе, Т. Хуцишвили, Е. Мепаридзе, Н. Жукова. 2008, Воздействие периодического изменения уровня воды в водохранилище Ингури на региональную сейсмическую активность. Геофизический журнал, 30, 87-94.

T. Matcharashvili, T.Chelidze, Z. Javakhishvili.Dynamics, Predictability and Risk Assessment of Natural Hazards. 2009.

In” Building Safer Communities, Risk Governance, Spatial Planning and Responces to Natural Hazards. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series E. Vol.58.pp.148-155.

T. Chelidze, O. Lursmanashvili, T. Matcharashvili, N.Varamashvili N. Zhukova, E. Mepharidze. 2009. High order synchronization of stick-slip process: experiments on spring-slider system. Nonlinear Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s11071-009-9536-6

Evidence for changes in the dynamics of earth crust tilts caused by the large dam construction and reservoir filling at the Enguri dam international test area (Georgia). T. Matcharashvili, T. Chelidze, V. Abashidze, N. Zhukova, E. Mepharidze, Urbano Fra Paleo. 2011.

Nonlinear Dynamics


International Workshop: "Geodynamical Hazards Associated with Large Dams" (Luxemburg, 1997) jointly with ECSG,

International Conference "New Directions in Seismology" (Borjomi, Georgia, October 1999),

International workshop "Geodynamical Hazards of High Dams" (Tbilisi, 2002),

International Conference "Sustainable Development and Strain-Related Geohazards in South Caucasus", 2009.