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Geology of Azerbaijan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An enlargeable topographic map of Azerbaijan.
An enlargeable topographic map of Azerbaijan.

The Geology of Azerbaijan forms a constituent geological part of the Alpine fold belt. Sedimentary deposits embracing the southwestern parts of the Major and Minor Caucasus, including the intermountain Kur River trough, as well as the Mid- and South Caspian basins consist of diversity fold systems. The Earth's crust thickness in Azerbaijan varies in the range from 38 to 55 km. Its maximum thickness is observed in the Minor Caucasus area, while its minimum thickness is typical for the Talysh foothills. Geological setting of the area consists of sedimentary, volcanic-sedimentary, volcanic and terrestrial deposits embracing almost entire stratigraphic range beginning from Pre-Cambrian through Holocene time.

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The ruins of rock underground and megalithic towns are widely developed in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries of the Mediterranean region. During my numerous expeditions from 2010 to 2017 year, I determine the time of their construction to the Neogene period. As a rule, these ancient ruins are overlaped by younger historical formations, which are explored in these regions by archaeologists and which are dated by them between the 10th millennium BC and the first millennium BC. The paradox is that most archaeologists who work in this region do not allocate the ruins of rock, underground and megalithic cities. More precisely, they do not allocate them as isolated complexes. They attribute them to overlapping historical complexes, because these ruins carry no material remains. They carry no skeletal remains, no remains of ceramics, and no remains of coals or wood. Therefore, their age cannot be determined directly, with the help of archaeological methods only. The determination of the age of historical time’s overlapping ruins, which contain the remains of ceramics, coals, and skeletal remains is used. Those remains that are located in upper formations are interpolated to underlying rock, underground, and megalithic complexes, and according to these remains, in my opinion, completely unreasonable and incorrect, their age are determined. Rock, underground and megalithic formations, which are spread everywhere, practically in all countries, cover huge areas that have dimensions from tens of square meters to tens of square kilometers, and are developed almost everywhere. They are very much washed out, smoothed with erosion, and overlying deposits cover them, as geologists say, with angular and stratigraphic unconformity, with pockets. As a result of the action of water and wind, these complexes have been destroyed, and overlapping structures were built on the destroyed and eroded surface. The rock underground and megalithic structures, which we see in ruins, are present in different forms. Firstly, it is most often rock complexes that represent some sort of ledges, pits, foundation pits, wells, preserved towers, staircases, remains of rooms carved in rocks, which are very badly destroyed and covered with crusts of secondary minerals. Underground structures are also a separate type of formations that we can see in Israel, Turkey, Spain and other countries. We can see downward galleries with stairs, which are often littered with some later sediments and rubbish. Often they represent ruined mountains, inside of which we can see remnants of underground rooms. Many of them are still underground. Others are partially destroyed; their upper part is exposed in the air in the form of rock formations. Very often we cannot determine boundaries and differences between rock and underground complexes. Take for example the rock town of Tatlarin in Turkey. In the upper part, it is a rock town, and in the lower part, it is already a typical underground town, consisting of several underground floors. Apparently, the upper part of it, called the rock town of Tatlarin, is nothing but the eroded underground town of Tatlarin, its upper floors. Thus, some of rock towns that we see now in mountains were formerly underground towns, although there are undoubtedly some purely rock towns. A variety of rock towns that we studied during the expedition to Turkey, and which I then saw in the expeditions to Israel, Spain and in October 2016 expedition to Italy, I called elven or elfish towns by analogy with the film The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and others. What are elven or elfish towns? This is probably the most interesting formations that I had ever met - single mountains, table mountains with a flat, often slightly inclined tops in a form of plateaus Flat tops of these mountains are separated from surrounding flat terrains by cliffs, and often - megalithic walls from large stone blocks on the edge of plateaus. Most of megalithic walls are destroyed, and their blocks rolled down long ago. Nevertheless, some fragments of megalithic walls remained in the form of rock outliers, teeth, and a kind of a saw. This is clearly seen in Pismis-Kale, Akpara-Kale, Great Yazylikaya in the Phrygian valley in Turkey and in a number of other places. There are on the plateaus excavated pits, wells, remnants of some stone rooms and walls with well-distinguishable windows and doors, some very beautiful stone towers that are most often destroyed, tunnels going deep into the mountains. Many of the columns that adorned these towns rolled far down the slopes. The majority of them are already deeply submerged in the Quaternary sediments. All this indicates the very great antiquity of these towns and structures. In all the elven towns, which are situated on the tops of high solitary mountains, there are tunnels that go down. That is, they were rock-underground towns. Most likely, there were hollow mountains with rooms and halls under the tops. The Hobbit movie shows similar elven towns, which were very nice. Decorated houses on rocks, from which some staircases descended under the earth, and comfortable dwellings under the ground. The next type of the formations is submerged rock towns. One of them is located in Rosh-Hanitra in the north of Israel, near the border with Lebanon. The most well seen sunken town is situated in Kekova Bay in southern Turkey. It represents fragments of rooms carved in rock. Fragments of walls, fragments of partitions. Sometimes fragments of roofs are visible, and houses descended into the sea along faults. Since the sea here is clean, you can see that some of these structures are at great depth. However, some structures are still partially above the sea surface. The next type of the formations is megalithic or, as they are also called by archeologists, cyclopean towns and structures consisting of large stone blocks. Such structures are known in Baalbek in Lebanon, in the tunnel of Kotel under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. At that, if in Lebanon there are blocks up to 2000 tons, then under the Temple Mount the biggest block weighs 600 tons. All these lay on quite a large depth, the remains of the megalithic wall are covered by later deposits. Taking into account that all megalithic blocks are overbuilt with a later masonry of Solomon-Herod times, some archaeologists believe that the megalithic wall was built by Solomon, others consider that it was built by Herod, and attribute it to historical time. I was twice in the tunnel of Kotel and twice convinced that the megalithic wall has nothing to do with either Solomon's masonry or Herod's masonry, but is the creation of an older civilization. Herod and Solomon simply built their structures on these megalithic blocks. In the capital of the Hittite Empire of Hattushash in northern Turkey, I managed to explore magnificent megalithic ruins. They are very much destroyed. The upper part of them underwent the strongest water and wind erosion. You can see some ripped surfaces, pockets, torn pieces. All this shows that the megalithic city of Hattushas was built very, very long time ago. In other places, the upper parts of megalithic blocks often have rounded outlines. This suggests that they too were exposed to water and air I have already said that rock and underground structures are part of one complex, which 5 years ago I called a underground-terrestrial megalithic complex. It can also be called a rock-underground megalithic complex. Megalithic towns are often associated with rock towns. This is clearly seen in the tunnel of Kotel. Megalithic blocks rest against rock, and then the rock begins to include some niches and rooms. It turns out as if one whole. In some places, I can not even see the boundary between the megalithic blocks and the rock complex. Rectangular blocks weighing more than 100 tons rest on finished walls as if they were carved out of them. Further, for some good reasons, the construction of the megalithic wall from individual blocks began. Therefore, I called such complexes an underground-terrestrial megalithic complex of ancient civilizations. This complex is absolutely identical in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria, Crimea, Lebanon, Jordan. And, judging by what I saw in the photographs, in Germany, Austria, France, Romania, Georgia, Armenia and many other countries. This complex is widely developed all over the Mediterranean region.



Azerbaijan is rich of fuel ore and non-ore minerals. Ore and non-ore minerals are spread mostly in mountainous territories (Small and Great Caucasus), fossil fuels in plain territories and South Caspian basin. In its turn, it caused development of ore industry in west and oil-gas industry in east.

Fossil-fuel resources

The Nobel Brothers oil wells in Balakhani, a suburb of Baku.
The Nobel Brothers oil wells in Balakhani, a suburb of Baku.

Fossil-fuel resources in Azerbaijan are presented by oil, gas, oil shale, peat etc. The petroleum industry is the most important sector of the local economy. Oil is produced from both onshore and Caspian offshore oilfields. Azerbaijan (particularly Absheron Peninsula) is referred to as the world's most ancient oil-producing region. Even during 7th–6th centuries BC oil had been extracted within the Absheron Peninsula and exported to many different countries. As of 1985 about 1.2 billion tons of crude oil has been produced in Azerbaijan (25% of which from offshore oilfields).

Metalliferous ore resources

Metalliferous ores (magnetite and hematite) in Azerbaijan fall into four generic classes: magmatic segregation, skarn-magnetite (contact-metasomatic), hydrothermal- metasomatic and sedimentary ones.

Non-metallic mineral resources

Non-metallic mineral resources play a significant role in Azerbaijan's total balance of raw material resources. That group of raw materials includes rock salt, gypsum, anhydrite, alum, bentonite clay, construction materials, pyrite, borate, gemstones (precious and semi-precious stone), dolomite, Iceland spar, etc.[1]

Underground water

Underground water is considered to be one of the most important natural resources in Azerbaijan. Due to the differences in chemical composition, they fall into several types, such as service water, drinkable, medical waters, and waters used in various industrial sectors.

Mud volcanoes

It is estimated that 300 of the planet's estimated 700 mud volcanoes sit in Eastern Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea.[2]

Mud volcanoes are pervasive within Azerbaijan. In local language, mud volcanoes are also known as "pilpila", "yanardag", "bozdagh", "ahtarma", "gaynarja" etc. There are over 220 mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan (Absheron Peninsula, Gobustan, southeast Shirvan plain, Samur-Davachi plain terrane, both Absheron and Baku Archipelago. The biggest are Galmas, Toragay, Big Kanizadag etc. Most of them have a cone shape. Their height varies in the range from 20 to 400m, whereas base diameter may vary from 100 to 4500m.

In 2001, one mud volcano 15 kilometers from Baku made world headlines when it suddenly started spewing flames 15 meters high.[3]


The first seismic station in Azerbaijan was established soon after 1902 in Baku by E. Nobel. Afterwards seismic stations were set in different areas in Azerbaijan (Balakhany, Zurnabd, Shamakhi, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Lankaran, Chilov Island, and Mingechevir).

Azerbaijan saw devastating earthquakes since the ancient times. The first reports on "an overall devastating event that destroyed all towns and villages" is dated back to 427 AD. In 1139 AD, a devastating earthquake with the magnitude of IX took place in Azerbaijan. The town of Ganja was destroyed completely and gross[clarification needed] casualties were reported. Goygol Lake was generated as a result of that same earthquake.

In the AD 19th century, Shamahy town suffered several devastating earthquakes. Several of them that occurred in 1856, 1861, and 1872 and 1902 that are considered to be the strongest and most devastating were estimated to have an intensity of VII–X.


This page was last edited on 30 November 2019, at 08:47
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