Dams in Armenia – State of the Art & Research Potential

September 14 2022, 2.30 p.m.
Place: Tiflis State University, 1 Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue, Second Floor, Room 202

Focus of the Meeting

Dams are important infrastructures for energy and water supply, but as tailings dams they are also essential to store by products of mining operations.  Tailings can be liquid, solid, or a slurry of fine particles, and are usually highly toxic. Solid tailings are often used as part of the structure itself.Tailings dams rank among the largest engineered structures on earth. Tailings dams are designed for permanent containment and pose varied challenges for long-term containment.
Globally there are ca. 3,500 active tailings impoundments, although there is no complete inventory, and the total number is disputed. In an average year, between 2 and 5 "major" tailings dam failures occur, along with 35 "minor" failures (Azam & Li, 2010).
The meeting is foreseen to provide the state of the art and to discuss the improvement potential for the documentation and safety practices of Armenian Dams and to identify dams for more detailed studies in future.


  1. Welcome Notes
  2. Very brief information on the DAMAST activities (10 min.) Details will be the next days by KIT-Team during the DAMAST-Conference
  3. Presentation by Armenian Team (all together ca. 1 -1.5 hours)
    • Seismic and geodynamic network of Armenia. Major water and tailing reservoirs in Armenia: studies carried out and problems identified  Hector Babayan, Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (NAS RA), Yerevan
    • Studies of geohydrodynamic and seismic conditions of operating reservoirs of mountain folded areas on the basis of the application of engineering geophysical methods. Jon Karapetyan (Director Institute of Geophysics and Engineering Seismology National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Republic of Armenia, Gyumri)
    • Seismotectonic model of Armenia. Characteristics of faults near the main water and tailing reservoirs of Armenia Ara Avagyan, Laboraty Head, Institute of Geological Sciences, NAS RA, Yerevan
    • Probabilistic and deterministic seismic hazard assessment of Armenia and some water and tiling reservoirs of Armenia Avetis Arakelyan, President at Armenian Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth
    • Engineering-geological studies and characteristics of some water reservoirs and tailings of Armenia Arakelyan Dimitry , Senior researcher, Institute of Geological Sciences, NAS RA, Yerevan
    • General approaches and methods of designing of high-mountain dams in Armenia Adilkhanyan Henry, Chief Specialist, “GIDEPINVEST Llc.”
  4. Discussion on potential joint activities


Brief Meeting report

As part of  the Conference on DAMAST and DAMAST-Transfer (hier links reinstellen) a meeting with representatives of Armenian Science institutions had been scheduled for September 14 in Tbilisi.
Two teams of Armenian scientists announced to come: representatives of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (NAS RA) from Yerevan and a team of the Institute of Geophysics and Engineering Seismology from Guymri.
Due to the conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the borders from Armenia to Georgia had been closed and the team from Yerevan could not come to Tbilisi. The team from Gyumri, which started earlier arrived safely in Tbilisi.
But, this did not change the plan of the meeting and with some initial problems with internet, we finally could start the meeting as a zoom-meeting.  The presentations could be given and discussion was very intense. The Armenian colleagues presented their activities and monitoring equipment as well as the necessity for Tailings Dam monitoring. They had been especially active in the field of seismology so far. All participants agreed that this was a fruitful first discussion on the state of dams in general and especially tailings dams in Armenia which should be continued also within smaller teams on more specific topics.