Article

Four Thousand Years of Seismicity Along the Dead Sea Rift

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Abstract

A study of major earthquake occurrence along the Dead Sea transform (35.5°–36.5° E; 27.2°–37.5° N) during the past four millenia has been attempted. Geological, archaeological, biblical, historical, and seismological evidence were integrated in an effort to quantify the space-time distribution of seismicity in the said province. The overall earthquake activity in the conterminous Near East indicates a stable pattern and appeared to have been stationary over the examined time window. About 110 earthquakes in the magnitude range 6.7 ≤ ML ≤ 8.3 affected the area during the past 2500 years. Of these, 42 originated along the Dead Sea fault system itself, while 68 were imported from the Helenic-Cyprian arcs and the Anatolian-Elburz-Zagros fault systems. These events were responsible for the repeated destruction of many cultural centers. In the Dead Sea region proper, the major seismic activity since 2100 B.C.E. (Before Christian Era), has been confined to the vicinity of its eastern shore with extremal seismicity at its southern tip near the prehistorical site of Bab-a-Dara'a (31° 15'N, 35° 32'E). This may constitute the first solid evidence that the Biblical “cities of the Plain” (Sodom, Gommorah, etc.) were located there. Recent studies of earthquake deformations in the Lisan deposits near Bab-a-Dara'a, agree with our findings. At the present time, a magnitude 6¾ earthquake is pending at the northern edge of the Levant rift, with its average recurrence interval (83 years) exceeded by one standard deviation (32 years).

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... Following the method adopted in the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) project "Global Earthquake History" to compile the "Global Historical Earthquake Archive" (Albini et al., 2014), a thorough collection of the studies published in the last years was made, especially those issued after the publication of the catalog by Ben-Menahem (1991). The next-in-line parametric catalogs turned out to be primarily based on the same catalog (Ben-Menahem, 1991), as it is the case of Khair et al. (2000) (Fig. 1). ...
... Following the method adopted in the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) project "Global Earthquake History" to compile the "Global Historical Earthquake Archive" (Albini et al., 2014), a thorough collection of the studies published in the last years was made, especially those issued after the publication of the catalog by Ben-Menahem (1991). The next-in-line parametric catalogs turned out to be primarily based on the same catalog (Ben-Menahem, 1991), as it is the case of Khair et al. (2000) (Fig. 1). The approach they adopted, similarly to that chosen in the compilation of other regional catalogs in the same period, was to enrich the reference catalog by including the earthquake data made available by late twentieth century studies such as Ambraseys et al. (1994), Ambraseys (1997), Ambraseys and Jackson (1998), Ambraseys and Karcz (1992), and Guidoboni et al. (1994). ...
... The most used and well known of these earthquake data collections or second-hand studies ( Fig. 1) are Perrey (1848), Mallet (1853Mallet ( -1855, Willis (1928Willis ( , 1933, and Sieberg (1932a,b) (for a discussion of Sieberg, 1932a, see Albini et al., 2019. The contents of these earthquake-data collections and their use by Ben-Menahem (1991) are not further discussed here. ...
Article
The present work aims at establishing an earthquake catalog for seismic hazard assessment in Lebanon. This catalog includes two different parts: historical earthquakes and instrumental earthquakes. The first part of the article describes the work done on the period 31 B.C.E. to the end of the nineteenth century. Numerous studies published in the last 30 yr, devoted to preinstrumental earthquakes in Lebanon, had not been included in any parametric earthquake catalog. A thorough and critical review of these studies was devised to check their respective interpretations of available earthquake records in terms of seismic parameters (date, location, and size) and to select for each earthquake the most reliable interpretation. The second part provides the details on the selection of instrumental solutions for the period 1900–2015 and for magnitudes≥4. From global instrumental earthquake catalogs, we build a unified earthquake catalog for Lebanon and bordering regions. A selection scheme is applied for the choice of the best location and the best magnitude among solutions available. The number of events in the catalog is relatively small, and all earthquakes can be checked one by one. The earthquake catalog is homogenized in moment magnitude. For 89% of the events, an Mw proxy was calculated from the original magnitude, applying conversion equations. The merging of the historical and instrumental periods highlights a specificity of this zone: the instrumental seismicity (1900–2015) corresponds to a relatively quiet period for Lebanon. The historical part, covering 2000 yr, includes similar periods of quiescence, as well as much more active periods with destructive earthquakes.
... Motion along the fault has caused large historical earthquakes with recurring magnitudes between 6 and 7.5 (Lefevre et al., 2018). Several destructive earthquakes on the DSF were felt and documented; nevertheless, none was instrumentally recorded (Ambraseys, 1971;Ben-Menahem, 1991;Shapira et al., 1993;Daëron et al., 2007;Le Beon et al., 2008;Lefevre et al., 2018;Brax et al., 2019). In Lebanon, the DSF breaks into four main segments (Fig. 1b), including three left-lateral strike-slip faults: the Yammouneh fault (YF), which crosses the whole country (∼170 km), the Rachaya-Serghaya faults to the east (∼45 km and ∼100-150 km, respectively), the Roum fault to the west (∼35 km), and one offshore thrust fault called the Mount Lebanon thrust fault (∼150 km) (Walley, 1988;Gomez et al., 2003;Nemer and Meghraoui, 2006;Elias et al., 2007;Huijer et al., 2011;Dembo et al., 2020). ...
... In Lebanon, the DSF breaks into four main segments (Fig. 1b), including three left-lateral strike-slip faults: the Yammouneh fault (YF), which crosses the whole country (∼170 km), the Rachaya-Serghaya faults to the east (∼45 km and ∼100-150 km, respectively), the Roum fault to the west (∼35 km), and one offshore thrust fault called the Mount Lebanon thrust fault (∼150 km) (Walley, 1988;Gomez et al., 2003;Nemer and Meghraoui, 2006;Elias et al., 2007;Huijer et al., 2011;Dembo et al., 2020). The YF, which bisects Lebanon and constitutes the main and longest branch, has generated several large historical earthquakes with a return period of 990-1260 yr , particularly the M s 7.6 earthquake in 1202 (Plassard and Kogoj, 1981;Ben-Menahem, 1991;Ambraseys and Jackson, 1998;Ellenblum et al., 1998;Daëron et al., 2004Daëron et al., , 2007Vergnolle et al., 2016). ...
Article
Lebanon is a densely populated country crossed by major faults. Historical seismicity shows the potential of earthquakes with magnitudes >7, but large earthquakes have never been instrumentally recorded in Lebanon. Here, we propose a method to simulate near-fault broadband ground motions for a potential Mw 7 earthquake on the Yammouneh fault (YF)—the largest branch of the Dead Sea Transform fault that bisects Lebanon from north to south. First, we performed the first 3D tomography study of Lebanon using ambient noise correlation, which showed that Lebanon could be approximated by a 1D velocity structure for low-frequency (LF) ground-motion simulation purposes. Second, we generated suites of kinematic rupture models on the YF, accounting for heterogeneity of the rupture process, and uncertainty of the rupture velocity and hypocenter location. The radiated seismic energy was next propagated in the inferred 1D velocity model to obtain suites of LF ground motions (<1 Hz) at four hypothetical near-fault seismic stations. These LF simulations included the main features of near-fault ground motions, such as the impulsive character of ground velocity due to the rupture directivity or fling-step effects (so-called pulse-like ground motions). Third, to obtain broadband ground motions (up to 10 Hz), we proposed a hybrid technique that combined the simulated LF ground motions with high-frequency (HF) stochastic simulations, which were empirically calibrated using a worldwide database of near-fault recordings. Contrary to other hybrid approaches, in which the LF and HF motions are generally computed independently, the characteristics of stochastic HF ground motions were conditioned on those of LF ground motions (namely on the characteristics of the velocity pulse, if it existed, or on the absence of a pulse). The simulated peak ground accelerations were in agreement with the ones reported in the Next Generation Attenuation-West2 (NGA-West2) database for similar magnitude and distances and with three NGA-West2 ground-motion prediction equations.
... Israel lies on an active plate boundary, with the Dead Sea Transform (DST) separating the African Plate to the west from the Arabian Plate to the east. According to the historical, biblical, and archaeological records ( Ben-Menahem, 1991), devastating earthquakes with recurrence intervals of approximately 100 years are responsible for the repeated destruction of cultural centres in this region. While Israel benefits from a relative wealth of historical, geological, and palaeoseismological datasets that can supports seismic hazard assessments (SHAs), its instrumental catalogue is poor due to the combination of its young age, sparse spatial coverage, and moderate seismicity rates. ...
... f. Maximum magnitudes are mostly based on historical estimates (e.g. Ben-Menahem, 1991). Instead, it is more common in recent PSHA studies to employ global empirical relationships to estimate the physical constraints on the maximum magnitude based on physical fault dimensions (e.g. ...
Article
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We present a full probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) sensitivity analysis for two sites in southern Israel – one in the near field of a major fault system and one farther away. The PSHA analysis is conducted for alternative source representations, using alternative model parameters for the main seismic sources, such as slip rate and Mmax, among others. The analysis also considers the effect of the ground motion prediction equation (GMPE) on the hazard results. In this way, the two types of epistemic uncertainty – modelling uncertainty and parametric uncertainty – are treated and addressed. We quantify the uncertainty propagation by testing its influence on the final calculated hazard, such that the controlling knowledge gaps are identified and can be treated in future studies. We find that current practice in Israel, as represented by the current version of the building code, grossly underestimates the hazard, by approximately 40 % in short return periods (e.g. 10 % in 50 years) and by as much as 150 % in long return periods (e.g. 10E⁻⁵). The analysis shows that this underestimation is most probably due to a combination of factors, including source definitions as well as the GMPE used for analysis.
... Large historic and prehistoric earthquakes (M > 6.5) along the DST are well documented: Ben-Menahem (1991), Amiran et al. (1994), Guidoboni et al. (1994), Guidoboni and Comastri (2005), Marco et al. (2003Marco et al. ( , 2005Marco et al. ( , 1996, Katz et al. (2010) and Wechsler et al. (2014). Recurrence intervals for M w = 6.5 and M w = 7.0 earthquakes were calculated to 800 and 3000 years (Begin, 2005), while another study suggests that the average recurrence interval for a large earthquake (M ≥ 6.5) in this segment of the DST is ∼ 1500 years (Hamiel et al., 2009). Some of the significant historical earthquakes induced slope failures (Katz and Crouvi, 2007;Wechsler et al., 2009;Yagoda-Biran et al., 2010). ...
... For OSL age determinations of rockfall events, colluvium or soil material from immediately underneath the rock blocks was sampled. This approach constrains the time since last exposure to sunlight before burial under the blocks (following Becker and Davenport, 2003). For sampling we excavated a ditch alongside the rock block to reach the contact with the underlying soil using a backhoe, then manually excavated horizontally under the block and sampled the soil below its center. ...
Article
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We address an approach for rockfall hazard evaluation where the study area resides below a cliff in an a priori exposure to rockfall hazard, but no historical documentation of rockfall events is available and hence important rockfall hazard parameters like triggering mechanism and recurrence interval are unknown. We study the rockfall hazard for the town of Qiryat Shemona, northern Israel, situated alongside the Dead Sea Transform, at the foot of the Ramim escarpment. Numerous boulders are scattered on the slopes above the town, while pre-town historical aerial photos reveal that boulders had reached the location that is now within town limits. We use field observations and optically stimulated luminescence dating of past rockfall events combined with computer modeling to evaluate the rockfall hazard. For the analysis, we first mapped the rockfall source and final downslope stop sites and compiled the boulder size distribution. We then simulated the possible rockfall trajectories using the field observed data to calibrate the simulation software by comparing simulated and mapped boulder stop sites along selected slopes, while adjusting model input parameters for best fit. The analysis reveals areas of high rockfall hazard at the southwestern quarters of the town and also indicates that in the studied slopes falling blocks would stop where the slope angle decreases below 5–10∘. Age determination suggests that the rockfalls were triggered by large (M>6) historical earthquakes. Nevertheless, not all large historical earthquakes triggered rockfalls. Considering the size distribution of the past rockfalls in the study area and the recurrence time of large earthquakes in the region, we estimate a probability of less than 5 % to be affected by a destructive rockfall within a 50-year time window. Here we suggest a comprehensive method to evaluate rockfall hazard where only past rockfall evidence exists in the field. We show the importance of integrating spatial and temporal field observations to assess the extent of rockfall hazard, the potential block size distribution and the rockfall recurrence interval.
... Jericho in the Jordan Valley also suffered significant damage, especially in terms of buildings collapsing (Fig. 3). The total number of victims was about 350-500 ( Ambraseys and Melville, 1988;Amiran, 1952;Arieh, 1967;Ben-Menahem, 1991). Beyond the casualties, several environmental effects were reported. ...
... The Jordan River flow ceased near the Damia Bridge for about 21.5 h (Willis, 1928) and a 1 m seiche wave was observed in the Dead Sea (Abel, 1927;Blanckenhorn, 1927). Some evidence suggests that the earthquake was felt up to 700 km from the epicenter (Ben-Menahem, 1991), although a different interpretation suggests this distance was only 300 km (Ambraseys and Melville, 1988). ...
Article
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Instrumental strong motion data are not common around the Dead Sea region. Therefore, calibrating a new attenuation equation is a considerable challenge. However, the Holy Land has a remarkable historical archive, attesting to numerous regional and local earthquakes. Combining the historical record with new seismic measurements will improve the regional equation. On 11 July 1927, a rupture, in the crust in proximity to the northern Dead Sea, generated a moderate 6.2 ML earthquake. Up to 500 people were killed, and extensive destruction was recorded, even as far as 150 km from the focus. We consider local near-surface properties, in particular, the shear-wave velocity, as an amplification factor. Where the shear-wave velocity is low, the seismic intensity far from the focus would likely be greater than expected from a standard attenuation curve. In this work, we used the multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) method to estimate seismic wave velocity at anomalous sites in Israel in order to calibrate a new attenuation equation for the Dead Sea region. Our new attenuation equation contains a term which quantifies only lithological effects, while factors such as building quality, foundation depth, topography, earthquake directivity, type of fault, etc. remain out of our scope. Nonetheless, about 60 % of the measured anomalous sites fit expectations; therefore, this new ground-motion prediction equation (GMPE) is statistically better than the old ones. From our local point of view, this is the first time that integration of the 1927 historical data and modern shear-wave velocity profile measurements improved the attenuation equation (sometimes referred to as the attenuation relation) for the Dead Sea region. In the wider context, regions of low-to-moderate seismicity should use macroseismic earthquake data, together with modern measurements, in order to better estimate the peak ground acceleration or the seismic intensities to be caused by future earthquakes. This integration will conceivably lead to a better mitigation of damage from future earthquakes and should improve maps of seismic hazard.
... One example of this can be found in the August 21 st 502 AD M L 7 event that totally destroyed the city of Acre (Acco) some 10 km to the southwest of Kabri (e.g. [42,43] ; Fig 1b). In this case, the epicenter is thought to have occurred offshore of Acco [42]. ...
... [42,43] ; Fig 1b). In this case, the epicenter is thought to have occurred offshore of Acco [42]. By contrast, the May 20, 1202 M L 7.5 earthquake is thought to have destroyed at least one third of Acco and originated along the Dead Sea fault in Lebanon [43]. ...
Article
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For years there has been much speculation surrounding the abandonment of the Middle Bronze Age IIB palace of Tel Kabri, ca. 1700 BCE. There are no weapons, hoards of money and jewelry, or visible evidence for fire, which rules out hostile attack or conquest. There are also no indications of drought or environmental degradation that might have forced the inhabitants to vacate the site, nor mass graveyards to indicate a pandemic. The current study uses micro-geoarchaeological methods to show that the demise of the palace was rapid, with walls and ceilings collapsing at once prior to abandonment. Macroscopic data (stratigraphic and structural) from five excavation seasons were reexamined, showing that at least nine Potential Earthquake Archaeological Effects (PEAEs) are found and associated with the last occupation phase of the site's palace. All lines of evidence point to the possibility that an earthquake damaged the palace, possibly to a point where it was no longer economically viable to repair. This conclusion is compounded by the discovery of a 1-3 m wide trench that cuts through the palace for 30 m, which may be the result of ground shaking or liquefaction caused by an earthquake. This study shows the importance of combining macro- and micro-archaeological methods for the identification of ancient earthquakes, together with the need to evaluate alternative scenarios of climatic, environmental, and economic collapse, as well as human-induced destruction before a seismic event scenario can be proposed.
... The two strongest seismic shocks recorded in modern times occurred at the Gulf of Aqaba (southernmost Dead Sea Transform) on 22 November, 1995, with MW=7.3 [Klinger et al., 1999, and in the Jericho Valley on 11 July 1927, with ML=6.2 [Shapira et al., 1993]. Tens of earthquakes with ML>6 occurred along the Dead Sea Transform during the past ~3 kyr and are recorded in written documents [Ben-Menahem, 1991;Amiran et al., 1994;Ambraseys, 2009]. ...
Article
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We have studied the history of earthquakes over the past 70 kyr by analyzing disturbed sedimentary layers around the margins of the Dead Sea. However, we know little about disturbances in the basin depocenter, where water depth is ~300 m, and accessible only by drilling. In this study, we compare disturbances from the Dead Sea depocenter, with the contemporaneous earthquake record (~56-30 ka) that was recovered on the western margin of the lake. This comparison allows us to discern the characteristics of disturbance in the different subaqueous environments and identify the source and sedimentary process of mass transport deposits. Our observations indicate that (i) the long disturbance sequences in the Dead Sea depocenter are composed of in situ deformation, slump, and chaotic deposits; (ii) earthquake-triggered Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability is a plausible mechanism for the in situ deformation in the lake center; (iii) the slump is slope area sourced; (iv) the unit of chaotic deposits is lakeshore sourced; and (v) earthquake-triggered slope instability is a viable mechanism for the slump and chaotic deposits. We further suggest that long sequences of disturbance in seismically active lake depocenters can be used to infer earthquake clusters.
... Marco et al. (2003) documented the damage in the nearby Galei Kinneret site (e.g., Herod stadium), linking it to the event documented north of the Dead Sea (∼130 km south of Ginosar), arguing that its magnitude was ∼7. The earthquake caused damage in Capernaum (6 km north of Ginosar), seiche in the Dead Sea, and a tsunami in the Mediterranean Sea (Ben-Menahem, 1991) and was also identified as disturbed layers in Dead Sea cores (Migowski et al., 2004;Kagan et al., 2011). However, we cannot rule out that a slope failure may have been caused by an exceptionally large flood discharged by Nahal Amud or Nahal Tzalmon or by some other earthquake, such as the December 5, 1033 (912 cal yr BP) event that is estimated to have occurred near Jericho or Nablus, Israel (Salamon, 2010). ...
Article
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Detrital sediments of the Sea of Galilee are predominantly pedogenic products of settled dust and local bedrocks transported from Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. Using the mineralogy, chemistry, and Nd and Sr isotope ratios of the core LK12-22 collected offshore of the Ginosar valley and of contemporaneous soils from the Nahal Tzalmon and Nahal Amud catchments, we reconstructed Late Holocene regional hydroclimate. The core samples span ɛ Nd isotope values of −6 to −2 and ⁸⁷ Sr/ ⁸⁶ Sr ratios of 0.7075 to 0.7077 between the isotope fields of the Terra rossa soils and basaltic soils. Sediments from the drier Iron Age and Arabic and Ottoman periods are closer in Nd-Sr isotope ratios of the basaltic soils, while those of the wetter Middle to Late Bronze and Roman–Byzantine periods are closer to the Terra rossa soils, reflecting enhanced mobilization of sediments from the Tzalmon catchment where Terra rossa–type soils accumulated. This result corroborates other regional data that indicate semiarid to temperate conditions in the south Levant during most of the Late Holocene. Wetter conditions over the Galilee Mountains and the Ginosar valley catchment during the Roman period could have promoted the flourishing farming-fishing society that heralded the rise of Christianity.
... The few estimates of Ben-Menahem that were calibrated on both maximum observed intensity and on Δ f were ranked higher (e.g., H76, H860, H991). The type of input behind each estimate by Ben-Menahem is available in Appendix D. The methodology of Ben-Menahem (1979, 1981, 1991 in general leads to rather large magnitude estimates. ...
Article
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In this study we present the work done to review the existing historical earthquake information of the Dead Sea Transform Fault Zone (DSTFZ). Several studies from various sources have been collected and reassessed, with the ultimate goal of creating of new homogenized parametric earthquake catalogue for the region. We analyze 244 earthquakes between 31BC and 1900, which are associated with the geographical buffer extending from 27N to 36N and from 31E to 39E. Of these, 93 were considered real seismic events with moment magnitude (Mw) greater than 5 that indeed occured within this zone. While we relied on past parametric data and did not assign new macroseismic intensities, magnitude values or epicenters for several controversial events, we did however resort to the primary sources to obtain a more critical perspective for the various assigned macroseismic intensities. In order to validate the derived parametric information, we tried to associate the events present in the historical records, with any evidence coming from past field investigations, i.e. geological or archaeological studies. Acknowledging the uneven quality and quantity of data reporting each event, we provided each entry with an uncertainty range estimate. Our catalog lists 33 events of Mw≥6 absent from the latest published compilation with compatible time span and areal coverage. The whole catalog is considered complete down to Mw 7 and in certain areas down to Mw 6 after the year 1000, with majority of the larger earthquakes located in the part of DSTFZ, which extends from the southeast part of Dead Sea lake till Antioch.
... The Arava Valley is located between these basins where a relatively simple linear segment of the DST is characterized by almost pure strike slip motion with a slip rate of about 4-5 mm/year (Garfunkel, 1981;Hamiel et al., 2018;Klinger, 1999). While the DST is responsible for about 25 M ≥ 7 earthquakes in the last 2,000 years (Ben-Menahem, 1991;Lefevre et al., 2018), only a few large events were documented along the Arava fault section. Table 1 summarizes the studies conducted on earthquakes that occurred over the last 2,000 years in the Arava Valley. ...
... The AD 365 and AD 1303 events were classified as very large earthquakes (with M w ≥ 8; Stiros et al., 2001;Shaw et al., 2008;Hamouda, 2006Hamouda, , 2009) that generated major tsunamis with basin-wide impacts, while the AD 1870 earthquake was of a lower magnitude (M w ∼ 7-7.5; Ben Menahem et al., 1991;Soloviev, 2000). Several studies of the 21 July AD 365 and 8 August AD 1303 historical earthquakes and associated tsunami waves report inundation in Alexandria and the coastlines of northern Egypt. ...
... Large historic and prehistoric earthquakes (M >6.5) along the DST are well documented: Ben-Menahem (1991), Amiran et al. 5 (1994), Guidoboni et al. (1994), Guidoboni and Comastri (2005), Marco et al., 2003, Marco et al., 2005, Marco et al., 1996, and Katz et al., (2010. Recurrence intervals for MW = 6.5 and M W = 7.0 earthquakes is 800 and 3000 years in accordance (Begin, 2005). ...
Article
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We evaluate rockfall hazard for the town of Qiryat-Shemona, northern Israel, situated alongside the Dead Sea Transform, at the foot of the Ramim escarpment. Boulders of 1m³ to 125m³ are scattered on the slope above town, while historical aerial photos reveal that before town establishment, numerous boulders had reached the town premises. For the hazard analysis we first mapped the rockfalls, their source and their downslope final stop-sites, and compiled the boulder size distribution. We then simulated the probable future rockfall trajectories using the field observed data to calibrate the simulation software by comparing simulated vs mapped boulders stop-sites along selected slopes while adjusting model input parameters for best fit. The analysis identified areas of high rockfall hazard at the south-western quarters of the town and also indicates that in the studied slopes, falling blocks would stop after several tens of meters where the slope angle is below 10°. OSL age determination of several past rockfall events in the study area suggests that these rockfalls were triggered by large (M>6) historical earthquakes. Nevertheless, not all large historical earthquakes triggered rockfalls. Simulations show that downslope reach of the blocks is not significantly affected by the magnitude of seismic acceleration. Considering the size distribution of the past rockfalls in the study area and the reoccurrence time of large earthquakes in the region, the probability to be affected by a destructive rockfall within a 50 year time-window is of less than 5%.
... The most recent destructive seismic event that affected the area was the Jericho earthquake, occurred on July 11 th , 1927 (Ml = 6.2), which caused heavy damage in the close cities of Salt and Amman and probably also to the Stylite Tower [Avni 1999, Zohar & Marco 2012. According to the Jordan seismic map ( Figure 6) the area is characterized by high seismicity with a Peak Ground Acceleration of 0.2g and a shear waves velocity Vs = 760÷1500 m/s, typical of rigid soil [Menahem 1991, Thomas et al. 2007]. The elastic response spectrum given by the Jordan technical code is shown in Figure 7, in which an amplification factor equal to 2.5 is considered. ...
Article
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Subject classification: Masonry tower, Stability of towers, Seismic behavior of towers, Pushover analysis. ABSTRACT The stability and vulnerability analyses carried out on the Stylite tower at Umm ar-Rasas, Jordan, are presented in this paper. The tower is a unique example of this kind of structure still existing. The soil and the structural material were analyzed by means of in situ experimental tests. These consisted of Schmidt-hammer tests on stone blocks and passive seismic measurements. The stability of the tower was first analyzed, assuming an elastic-perfect plastic behavior in compression for masonry. Then the pushover seismic analysis was carried out, which was based on a single-mode approach and a finite solid element modelling with a Drucker-Prager yield criterion for masonry. The work is propaedeutic to the design of a retrofit intervention.
... The earthquake probably caused damage also to the Stylite Tower, due to its vicinity to the epicenter [2,3]. According to the Jordan seismic map the area is characterized by high seismicity [4,5], with a peak ground acceleration of 0.2 g, and a structural amplification of 2.5. ...
Article
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A seismic vulnerability analysis carried out on the Stylite Tower at Umm ar-Rasas, Jordan, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is presented in this paper. The monument, a unique survived example of stylite towers in the Middle East, presents evidence of structural damage due to earthquakes. The study was based on preliminary investigations, which consisted in Schmidt-hammer tests executed on stone blocks and passive tromography tests on the ground. Two models were implemented for the tower. In the first one, the tower was considered as a rigid structure supported by means of an elasto-perfect plastic cushion at the base. In the second one, a finite element model was setup, with solid elements characterized by a Drucker-Prager yield criterion. In both cases a push over analysis was performed, which resulted in a very low resistance of the tower to seismic actions. The work is part of a preservation effort which will include the design of a retrofit intervention.
... The AD 365 and AD 1303 events were classified as very large earthquakes (with M w ≥ 8; Stiros et al., 2001;Shaw et al., 2008;Hamouda, 2006Hamouda, , 2009) that generated major tsunamis with basin-wide impacts, while the AD 1870 earthquake was of a lower magnitude (M w ∼ 7-7.5; Ben Menahem et al., 1991;Soloviev, 2000). Several studies of the 21 July AD 365 and 8 August AD 1303 historical earthquakes and associated tsunami waves report inundation in Alexandria and the coastlines of northern Egypt. ...
Article
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We study the sedimentary record of past tsunamis along the coastal area west of Alexandria (NW Egypt) taking into account the occurrence of major historical earthquakes in the eastern Mediterranean. The two selected sites at Kefr Saber ( ∼ 32km west of Marsa-Matrouh city) and ∼ 10 km northwest of El Alamein village are coastal lagoons protected by 2–20m-high dunes parallel to the shoreline. Field data were collected by (1) coastal geomorphology along estuaries, wedge-protected and dune-protected lagoons; and (2) identification and spatial distribution of paleotsunamis deposits using five trenches (1.5m-depth) at Kefr Saber and twelve cores (1 to 2.5m-depth) at El Alamein. Detailed logging of sedimentary sections was conducted using X-rays, grain size and sorting, total organic and inorganic matter, bulk mineralogy, magnetic susceptibility, and radiocarbon dating to identify past tsunamis records. Generally of low energy, the stratigraphic succession made of coastal lagoon and alluvial deposits includes intercalated high-energy deposits made of mixed fine and coarse sand with broken shells, interpreted as catastrophic layers correlated with tsunami deposits. Radiocarbon dating of 46 samples consist in mixed old (>13 000BP) and young (<5500BP), dated charcoal and shells in sedimentary units correlate with the 24 June AD1870 (Mw7.5), 8 August AD1303 (Mw ∼ 8) and 21 July AD365 (Mw8–8.5) large tsunamigenic earthquakes that caused inundation along the Alexandria and northern Egyptian shoreline. Our results point out the size and recurrence of past tsunamis and the potential for future tsunami hazards on the Egyptian coastline and the eastern Mediterranean regions.
... • The 551 A.D strongest coastal earthquake (Plassard 1968;Ambraseys et al. 1994;Guidoboni et al. 1994), estimated to M l 7.5 (local magnitude) by Ben-Menahem (1991) and to M s 7.1-7.3 (surface waves magnitude) by Darawcheh et al. (2000). ...
Article
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Lebanon is situated on the 1000 km long Levant transform fault that separates the Arabic from the African tectonic plates. In Lebanon, the Levant fault splits up into a set of ramifications that had, in the past, generated major destructive earthquakes causing a lot of destruction and thousands of casualties. The most devastating one was the 551 A.D. offshore earthquake that destroyed Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. This paper presents a site effect study in Beirut, aimed at proposing a framework for future microzonation works in the city. It includes two complementary parts. A 6-month, temporary seismological experiment was first conducted to estimate the site response at 10 sites sampling the main geological units of Beirut on the basis of local and regional earthquake recordings. This spatially sparse information was then complemented by a large number (615) of microtremor measurements covering the Beirut municipality and part of its suburbs with a 400 m dense grid. The recordings were analysed with the standard site-to-reference and horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio methods for earthquake recordings, and the horizontal-to-vertical ratio for ambient noise recordings. Significant ground motion amplification effects (up to a factor of 8) are found in a few areas corresponding to recent deposits. The consistency between results from earthquake and microtremor recordings allows proposing a map of the resonance frequencies within the city and its suburbs, with frequencies ranging from 0.5 to 5 Hz for the deepest deposits, and 5–10 Hz for shallow areas. Finally, the results are discussed and a way to combine the results obtained from the temporary stations to the great number of recordings coming from the permanent Lebanese network is proposed.
... The Israeli seismic network (ISN) contains ∼85 seismic stations that have recorded more than 15,000 events in the past 30 yrs. Despite the well-acknowledged hazard levels in Israel (e.g., Ben-Menahem, 1991;Begin, 2005;Wetzler and Kurzon, 2016), geotechnical site characterization has been published for only 10 ISN strong-motion stations so far. Zaslavsky et al. (2003) suggested 1D velocity models for 10 accelerometer stations, based on horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratio (HVSR) measurements, using three independent approaches. ...
Article
This study presents site characterization performed for nine strong-motion stations in the Israeli Seismic Network (ISN). Measurements conducted using the refraction microtremor (ReMi) and multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) techniques are compared with previously available velocity profiles from refraction surveys and a horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) study. The linear-elastic 1D site response is computed for all stations, using all available velocity profiles. Intramethod and intermethod variability of the full velocity profiles, their time-averaged shear-wave velocity (VS30), and the calculated amplification functions are discussed and compared. We find that the intermethod variability is significantly higher than the intramethod variability. We also see that the uncertainty associated with the VS30 of the profiles (approximately ±20% from average) is generally smaller than that associated with specific amplification parameters (e.g., f0, ±40% from average). Finally, in the nine sites we tested, there are no consistent trends that can point to one method being preferable to others; hence, we must accept an amount of epistemic uncertainty.
... In addition, Jericho suffered significant damage, especially in terms of buildings collapsing ( Figure 3). The total number of victims was about 350-500 (Ambraseys and Melville, 1988;Amiran, 1951;Arieh, 20 1967;Ben-Menahem, 1991). Beyond the casualties, several environmental effects were reported: The Jordan river flow ceased near the Damia bridge for about 21.5 hours (Willis, 1928) and a one meter seiche wave was observed in the Dead Sea (Abel, 1927;Blankenhorn, 1927). ...
Article
Full-text available
Strong motion data is not common around the Dead Sea region. Therefore, calibrating a new attenuation equation is a considerable challenge. However, the Holy Land has a remarkable historical archive, attesting to numerous regional and local earthquakes. Combining the historical record with modern measurements will enhance the regional equation. On 11 July 1927, a crustal rupture generated a moderate 6.25ML earthquake around the northern part of the Dead Sea. Up to five hundred people were killed and extensive destruction was recorded, even at places as far as 150 kilometers from the focus. We consider local near-surface properties, in particular, the shear-wave velocity, as an amplification factor. Where the shear-wave velocity is low, the seismic intensity at places far from the focus would likely be greater than expected from a standard attenuation curve. In this work, we used the Multi Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) method to estimate seismic wave velocity at anomalous sites in Israel in order to calibrate a new attenuation equation for the Dead Sea region, based on 1927 macroseismic data integrated with modern measurements. Our new attenuation equation contains a term which quantifies solely lithological effects, whilst factors such as building quality, foundation depth, topography, earthquake directivity, type of fault, etc., remained out of the equation. Nonetheless, about 60 % of the measured anomalous sites fit expectations and better fitting is achieved compared to other relevant attenuation equations. From a local point of view, this is the first time that an integration between historical data and modern seismic measurements improves the attenuation relation for the Dead Sea region. In the wider context, regions of low-to-moderate seismicity should use historical earthquake data together with modern measurements in order to better estimate the peak ground acceleration or the seismic intensities caused by future earthquakes. This integration will conceivably lead to a better understanding of future earthquakes and improve maps of seismic risk.
... Historical testimonies attest to numerous devastating earthquakes associated with local active faults during the last two millennia (e.g. Poirier and Taher, 1980;Ben-Menahem, 1991;Ambraseys et al., 1994;Guidoboni et al., 2004;Ambraseys, 2009). Paleoseismological studies aim at identifying the source of these events and at estimating earthquake recurrence intervals on individual faults, with the chief goals of understanding how earthquakes relate to each other in time and space and of improving seismic hazard assessment. ...
Article
Continuous sedimentation and detailed stratigraphy are key parameters for a complete paleo-earthquake record. Here, we present a new paleoseismological study across the main strike-slip fault branch of the Dead Sea fault in Lebanon. We aim to expand the current knowledge on local paleoseismicity and seismic behavior of strike-slip plate boundary faults and to explore the limitations of paleoseismology and dating methods. The trench, dug in the Jbab el-Homr basin, reveals a succession of remarkable, very thin (0.1 to 5 cm) palustrine and lacustrine layers, ruptured by at least 17 earthquakes. Absolute ages of 4 samples are obtained from three luminescence-dating techniques targeting fine-grain minerals. Blue-green stimulated luminescence (BGSL) on quartz and post-infrared infrared-stimulated luminescence at 225 °C on polymineral aliquots led to consistent ages, while ages from infrared-stimulated luminescence at 50 °C on polymineral aliquots appeared underestimated. The quartz BGSL ages are 26.9 ± 2.3 ka at 0.50 m depth and 30.8 ± 2.9 ka at 3.65 m depth. During this time period of 3.9 ka ([0; 9.1 ka]), 14 surface-rupturing events occurred with a mean return time of 280 years ([0; 650 years]) and probable clustering. This return time is much shorter than the 1127 ± 135 years return time previously determined at the Yammouneh site, located 30 km south. Although fault segmentation and temporal variations in the earthquake cycle remain possible causes for such different records, we argue that the high-resolution stratigraphy in Jbab is the main factor, enabling us to record small deformations related to smaller-magnitude events that may have been missed in the rougher strata of Yammouneh. Indeed, focusing only on larger events of Jbab, we obtain a mean return time of 720 years ([0; 1670 years]) that is compatible with the Yammouneh record.
... Frequent seismic activity along the DST has been detected in the past century (Salamon et al., 2003) and was recorded historically and archeologically over the past 4,000 years (e.g., Ambraseys, 2009;Ben-Menahem, 1991). The correlation between the historically and archeologically documented earthquakes and the nearby lake archives allows the assessment of the validity of the lake sediment chronology as well as the interpretation of the disturbed sedimentary layers as true seismites. ...
Article
Full-text available
Seismically disturbed sedimentary sequences (seismites) in the last glacial (70-14 ka) Lisan Formation are exposed in the marginal terraces of the Dead Sea and recovered from sedimentary core drilled by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programs at the depocenter of the lake at water depth of 300 m. The core reveals various types of centimeter- to meter-scale disturbed lake sediments: turbidites, homogenites, slumps, and other deformations, interspersed with undisturbed lamination. The transported sediments comprise a main source of the thickness tripling of the Lisan Formation at the depocenter of the lake compared to the margins. Excluding (mass transport deposits MTDs) from chronology yields a normal, event-free age-depth model for core. Moreover, time intervals of units missing at the exposed sections of the lake margin are synchronous with intervals of mass transport deposits (MTDs) at the deepest lake floors. In the deep core, the recurrence interval range of MTD with thickness > 1 cm is ~ 100-300 years, while that of the thick MTD (>50 cm) is ~ 2,500 years, twice the recurrence interval of the seismites at the lake's margins. The ~1,000 year recurrence at the lake's margins lies within the ranges that have been calculated for ~M6.5-7 earthquakes. The significantly higher figure shown by depocenter core suggests activity on various faults and the response of the lake sediments in the entire Dead Sea basin. Overall, an unprecedented chronology of seismic activity was achieved for the late Pleistocene Lisan Formation providing a framework of earthquake activity in the vicinity of the Dead Sea basin during the period of the last high lake stand.
... This major plate boundary caused a moderate-to low level of seismicity during the last eight centuries (Meghraoui et al., 2003;Wetzler & Kurzon, 2016). However, large-magnitude earthquakes occurred in the region over the past 4,000 years, affecting cities and resulting in a high number of casualties (Ben-Menahem, 1991). Geophysical studies conducted along the DSF over the last decades, including an ICDP experiment, focused mostly on the Dead Sea (cf. ...
Article
Full-text available
Northern Israel was struck during July 2018 by a ML4.4 earthquake followed by a seismic sequence that lasted about 30 days. This seismic sequence occurred in the center of a temporary seismic network deployed around the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). The network was installed to investigate the regional kinematics of the Dead Sea Fault, which is a major transform fault running N‐S for more than 1,000 km. The data allowed us to develop a local velocity model for the Sea of Galilee. We relocated more than 600 earthquakes and calculated 27 focal mechanisms pointing out a complex kinematic setting, possibly controlled by fluids at depth. The seismic sequence developed along a NNW‐striking direction and it is bounded to the east by the N‐striking Dead Sea fault. Hypocenter depths range between 6 and 13 km. Directions of the principal stress tensors suggest a transtentional deformation, in agreement with the overall kinematics of the region. We analyze and discuss our data set to investigate mechanisms that potentially triggered the observed seismic swarm, including exacerbated ground water pumping proposed by previous authors. We suggest that the seismic sequence is driven by the dissipation of the elastic load that accumulated in this region.
... Several studies have revised the rich historical record of the eastern Mediterranean region, and resulted in published earthquake catalogues (e.g. Poirier and Taher, 1980;Plassard and Kogoj, 1981;Ben-Menahem, 1991;Ambraseys et al., 1994;Sbeinati et al., 2005). Sbeinati et al. (2005) provided a register of 36 historical seismic events of the region, with their projected epicentral locations, intensities, surface magnitudes, and depths. ...
Article
The Hasbaya fault is a 50-km-long fault branch of the Dead Sea Transform Fault within the Lebanese Restraining Bend. It lies within the intersection zone of Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon chains, along the western flank of Mount Hermon. It is little studied, its tectonic behavior is unknown, and its role among the other active fault branches of the restraining bend is the least defined. It was mapped as a discontinuous array of fault segments, with minor displacements and tectonically undisturbed basaltic cover. We studied the Hasbaya fault with detailed field mapping, and combining geomorphology, structural geology, and active tectonic investigations. The results reveal little and localized faulting along the entire length of the fault, with no signs of tectonic correlation between the drainage network evolution and the tectonic activity of the fault. The absence of active-tectonic surface features along the Hasbaya fault trend indicates that it does not manifest enough surface evidence to be classified as a tectonically active structure within the Lebanese Restraining Bend, and subsequently does not appear to be a major source of seismic hazard in the region. It may be related to the subsurface structure that controls the monocline that forms the western flank of Mount Hermon, or it may represent the remnant of an old suture zone between Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon as a part of the regional compression imposed across the restraining bend. Our results shed light on the role of the non-active Hasbaya fault in a zone of active faults within a restraining bend, which may provide a case with broader implications on comparable tectonic settings worldwide.
... The last major earthquake was in 1995 with M w 7.2, located about 80 km to the south of Aqaba (Ambraseys and Jackson, 1998;Al-Tarazi, 2000), and was too far from Beit-Ras to cause any significant damage. Several Middle East historical earthquake catalogs were consulted to identify the major damaging earthquakes (i.e., Ben-Menahem, 1979, 1991Russell, 1985;Abu Karaki, 1987;Guidoboni et al., 1994;Sbeinati et al., 2005;Ambraseys, 2009). The major damaging earthquakes belonging to the period between the first and eighth centuries are listed in Table 1, and the towns affected by these earthquakes are marked in Figure 1. ...
Article
A Roman theater is recently being excavated at Beit-Ras/Capitolias in Jordan, which is one of the Decapolis cities, founded before A.D. 97/98. This is an archaeoseismological study that aims to investigate the temporal and intensity impacts of past earthquakes on the theater’s existing structure. A rich set of earthquake archaeological effects were identified, including deformed arches, tilted and collapsed walls, chipped corners of masonry blocks, and extensional gaps, indicating a seismic intensity of VIII–IX. The study identified at least two significant destruction phases that took part in the damage of the theater, which may have contributed to the abandonment of its major use as a theater at different periods. This is based on field observations of construction stratigraphy and damage features, the assessment of the observed destruction, and literature reports. The date of the first phase is bracketed between the establishment of the city (before A.D. 97/98) and the date of an inscription found in the walled-up orchestra gate (A.D. 261). The most likely candidate earthquake(s) for this immense destruction are the A.D. 233 and/or 245 events. Other moderate and less damaging events may have also occurred within the region but are not mentioned in available catalogs. After a major restoration, another earthquake phase occurred between A.D. 261 and Late Roman– Early Byzantine times, when the scaena wall tilted and collapsed, rendering the building useless and beyond repair. Subsequently, the theater was then filled with debris and was abandoned. The most probable causative earthquake of the second phase of destruction is an event in A.D. 363. The article provides a rich discussion of potential causative earthquakes, based on archaeoseismological, construction stratigraphy observations, and calibrated intensity of historical earthquake-based attenuation modeling. It identifies the potential phases and types of destruction and reuse.
... The last major earthquake was in 1995 with M w 7.2, located about 80 km to the south of Aqaba (Ambraseys and Jackson, 1998;Al-Tarazi, 2000), and was too far from Beit-Ras to cause any significant damage. Several Middle East historical earthquake catalogs were consulted to identify the major damaging earthquakes (i.e., Ben-Menahem, 1979, 1991Russell, 1985;Abu Karaki, 1987;Guidoboni et al., 1994;Sbeinati et al., 2005;Ambraseys, 2009). The major damaging earthquakes belonging to the period between the first and eighth centuries are listed in Table 1, and the towns affected by these earthquakes are marked in Figure 1. ...
Article
Full-text available
A Roman theater is recently being excavated at Beit‐Ras/Capitolias in Jordan, which is one of the Decapolis cities, founded before A.D. 97/98. This is an archaeoseismological study that aims to investigate the temporal and intensity impacts of past earthquakes on the theater’s existing structure. A rich set of earthquake archaeological effects were identified, including deformed arches, tilted and collapsed walls, chipped corners of masonry blocks, and extensional gaps, indicating a seismic intensity of VIII–IX. The study identified at least two significant destruction phases that took part in the damage of the theater, which may have contributed to the abandonment of its major use as a theater at different periods. This is based on field observations of construction stratigraphy and damage features, the assessment of the observed destruction, and literature reports. The date of the first phase is bracketed between the establishment of the city (before A.D. 97/98) and the date of an inscription found in the walled‐up orchestra gate (A.D. 261). The most likely candidate earthquake(s) for this immense destruction are the A.D. 233 and/or 245 events. Other moderate and less damaging events may have also occurred within the region but are not mentioned in available catalogs. After a major restoration, another earthquake phase occurred between A.D. 261 and Late Roman–Early Byzantine times, when the scaena wall tilted and collapsed, rendering the building useless and beyond repair. Subsequently, the theater was then filled with debris and was abandoned. The most probable causative earthquake of the second phase of destruction is an event in A.D. 363. The article provides a rich discussion of potential causative earthquakes, based on archaeoseismological, construction stratigraphy observations, and calibrated intensity of historical earthquake‐based attenuation modeling. It identifies the potential phases and types of destruction and reuse.
... The Arava Valley is located between these basins where a relatively simple linear segment of the DST is characterized by almost pure strike slip motion with a slip rate of about 4-5 mm/year (Garfunkel, 1981;Hamiel et al., 2018;Klinger, 1999). While the DST is responsible for about 25 M ≥ 7 earthquakes in the last 2,000 years (Ben-Menahem, 1991;Lefevre et al., 2018), only a few large events were documented along the Arava fault section. Table 1 summarizes the studies conducted on earthquakes that occurred over the last 2,000 years in the Arava Valley. ...
Article
Full-text available
Rock pillars and precariously balanced rocks in the Negev desert, Israel, were used to re-evaluate the maximum seismic ground shaking that could have occurred during their life-span. Our work documented dozens of fragile geologic features which formed thousands of years ago and have withstood the ground shaking induced by many regional earthquakes. Within a study area of approximately 3000 km2, we were able to document and analyze enough fragile structures to evaluate the long-term seismic activity of several faults in the Negev and along the southern Dead Sea Transform. Slender rock pillars were shown to have natural frequencies within the range of seismic waves, making them very sensitive to resonance motion induced by large distant earthquakes. Our analysis and database provides new constraints on shaking intensity induced by historic earthquakes and significant implications for national hazard assessments. In particular it indicates that the Arava Faults, which is the main seismic source in the region, has not experienced earthquake magnitudes larger than M7 in the past 10,000 years. Expanding our study area can help resolve fundamental knowledge gaps regarding the magnitude of ancient earthquakes, and can improve regional and site-specific seismic hazard analyses in Israel and Jordan.
... ( ‫נואיבה‬ ‫לפני‬ ‫זה‬ ‫באזור‬ ‫יותר‬ ‫גדול‬ ‫צונאמי‬ ‫של‬ ‫התרחשות‬ ‫לאחרונה‬ ‫חשפו‬ .) Tchernov et al., 2016;Shaked et al., 2004 Menahem, 1991;Hartman et al., 2014;Salomon, 1996 ‫המפרץ‬ ‫באזור‬ ‫להתרחש‬ ‫צפויות‬ ‫חזקות‬ ‫אדמה‬ ‫שרעידות‬ ‫ובעובדה‬ Amit et al., 1999;Levy et al., 2012 Didenkulova and Pelinovsky, 2011;( .) Gupta et al., 2013;Miller, 1960 ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, tsunamis have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, left millions homeless and caused severe damage to many coastal nations. Tsunami hazard in The Gulf of Eilat is considered significant given the expectation of strong earthquakes in the region, the steep slopes in the gulf and indications of at least three past tsunamis. However, to date, no tsunami damage evaluations have been carried out in Eilat. This paper presents preliminary estimates of the possible economic impact a tsunami may have in selected sites in Eilat. Scenario representations reveal that a tsunami with inundation of 3-5 meters above sea level can cause extensive economic damage to tourist sites, commercial areas and to the port of Eilat. Such a large tsunami occurring on a weekend in peak season might harm tens of thousands of people and cause damage costing more than a billion shekel. Ongoing research must be conducted to yield more detailed tsunami scenarios and damage estimations and to help authorities devise tsunami preparation and evacuation plans.
... Despite the size of the fault, the earthquake hazard associated with the DSFS has begun to be appreciated only during the last 2-3 decades (e.g., Adams and Barazangi, 1984). This likely results in part from the paucity of large earthquakes along the DSFS during the instrumental recording period, although historical records document occurrences of large, devastating earthquakes (e.g., Ambraseys and Jackson, 1998;Ben-Menahem, 1991). ...
... In our region, for historical and cultural reasons as the center of the ancient world civilizations and birthplace of writing, a wealth of Historical Seismicity material exists. This has been emphasized in many modern works (Abou Karaki, 1987Karaki, , 1992Karaki, , 1995aKaraki, , 1996aKaraki, , b, 1999Al-Ghunaim, 2002;Amiran et al., 1994;Ben Menahem, 1991;Ghawanmeh, 1990;Guidoboni et al., 1994;Guidoboni & Comastri, 2005;Poirrier & Taher, 1980;Sbeinati et al., 2005). It is also necessary to recognize the importance and contributions of pioneering works of a great number of historians and scientists who compiled historical earthquake lists and catalogs, Impressive lists and references of these works is found in (Vered & Striem, 1977;Willis, 1928Willis, , 1933. ...
Chapter
Mean sea level (MSL) trend at the Arabian Gulf has been estimated based on hourly tide gauge (TG) data of seven stations at the west of the gulf (1979–2008) and multi-missions satellite altimetry monthly mean (1993–2018). Analysis exposes that MSL is rising due to global warming. Altimetry data reveals a global rising trend by about 2.8 ± 0.4 mm/year while for the Arabian Gulf, trend estimation shows higher rate by about 3.6 ± 0.4 mm/year. This value almost in agreement with previous trend estimations for the gulf by many researchers and trend values in adjacent seas such as the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Based on TG hourly values, sea level trend is also showing a rising trend at all stations with variable rates. For example, at Mina Salman the trend value is about 3.4 ± 0.98 mm/year which agrees with the above estimate from the altimetry data followed by values from Arrabiyah Island station; 2.4 ± 0.66 mm/year. However, not all stations reflect the same MSL trend rising rates; for example, Ras Tanura recorded the lowest value of trend followed by Jubail station by about 0.7 ± 0.31 mm/year and 1.6 ± 0.71 mm/year respectively.
... In our region, for historical and cultural reasons as the center of the ancient world civilizations and birthplace of writing, a wealth of Historical Seismicity material exists. This has been emphasized in many modern works (Abou Karaki, 1987Karaki, , 1992Karaki, , 1995aKaraki, , 1996aKaraki, , b, 1999Al-Ghunaim, 2002;Amiran et al., 1994;Ben Menahem, 1991;Ghawanmeh, 1990;Guidoboni et al., 1994;Guidoboni & Comastri, 2005;Poirrier & Taher, 1980;Sbeinati et al., 2005). It is also necessary to recognize the importance and contributions of pioneering works of a great number of historians and scientists who compiled historical earthquake lists and catalogs, Impressive lists and references of these works is found in (Vered & Striem, 1977;Willis, 1928Willis, , 1933. ...
Chapter
Wildfires in Lebanon pose an increasing threat not only to the natural environment but also to urban settings and local communities near forests. In response to this increasing threat, the Government of Lebanon endorsed a National Strategy (i.e., the Strategy) for forest fire management (Decision No. 52/2009). The Strategy acknowledged that decisions about wildfires are best made within a risk management framework including five different components, known as the 5Rs, namely (R1) Research, information and analysis; (R2) Risk modification, including fire vulnerability reduction and prevention of harmful fires; (R3) Readiness; (R4) Response, including all means of intervention for fire suppression; and (R5) Recovery, including the rehabilitation and ecological restoration of healthy forest conditions. Various tools and instruments were essentially needed to support the implementation of each component of the Strategy. These included the use of Earth Observation (EO) data and the employment of different remote sensing techniques among others. More specifically, satellite remote sensing proved to be useful for fire risk management as EO offered precise and frequent data especially that Lebanon lacked reliable national data on fire risk. In this context, the aim of this work was to review how EO contributed to fire risk management in Lebanon before (i.e., R1, R2 and R3) and after fire occurrence (i.e., R5) while supporting forecast and early detection of fires (i.e., R4). This study started by presenting EO cases which served as background information on the potential use of satellite remote sensing throughout the 5 Rs of the Strategy. The second part presented a case study from Lebanon on the actual use of EO in fire risk management.
... The 1969 Shadwan earthquake (Mw=6.8) was also likely tsunamigenic (Ben-Menahem et al., 1991). Evidence from Eilat alludes to a major tsunami dating to 2.3 ka BP (Shaked et al., 2004;Goodman Tchernov et al., 2016) and deposits on the Egyptian coast have been proposed as tsunamigenic (Salem, 2009), though their timing is equivocal. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Red Sea is a maritime rift. Tsunamigenic submarine landslides are common in these deep, steep-sided, and seismically active basins. Because the rift is narrow, tsunami formed on one margin dissipate little before impacting the opposite side. Red Sea slope failures are therefore especially hazardous. We examine the tsunamigenic potential of an incipient landslide in the Tiran Straits that started, but then stopped after a short distance. Radiometric and biotic analyses fix the age of this landslide to within the last 500 years. Tsunami modelling of the incipient slide predicts ∼10 m wave heights on the Egyptian coastline. Of present concern is that the slope will eventually slide to completion with even more hazardous results. Tsunami simulated for this future event are twice as large as that generated by the incipient slide, so the threat posed by a future slide is consequential. Sharm El Sheikh, an Egyptian resort town now lies in its path, as does ‘The Line’ – a vast Saudi infrastructure project. This study warns of credible tsunami risk in the rapidly urbanizing Tiran Straits.
... Numerical modelling is an important tool to enhance our understanding of how faults slip, since the spatial and temporal scales involved in (sequences of) earthquakes render the direct observa-tion of earthquake source processes difficult or infeasible (e.g., Lapusta et al. 2019). While historical and geological records have been used to construct catalogs of major earthquakes on known natural fault systems that extend over several thousands of years (Ben-Menahem 1991;Rockwell et al. 2015), the lack of space-time complete, quantitative data on fundamental observables of the seismic cycle such as the magnitude and recurrence interval of large earthquakes challenges constructing seismic hazard maps and estimating aftershocks probabilities in the aftermath of large earthquakes (Petersen et al. 2014;Milner et al. 2021). Computational models informed by laboratory experiments and first-order physical principles provide a path to constrain sets of plausible scenarios that extend the knowledge beyond regional statistical laws and enhance our fundamental understanding of earthquake faulting and crustal deformation on different space-time scales. ...
Preprint
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Physics-based simulations provide a path to overcome the lack of observational data which is hampering a holistic understanding of earthquake faulting and crustal deformation across the vastly varying space-time scales governing the seismic cycle. However, simulations of sequences of earthquakes and aseismic slip (SEAS) including more than one fault, complex geometries, and elastic heterogeneities are challenging. We present a symmetric interior penalty discontinuous Galerkin (SIPG) method to perform SEAS simulations accounting for the complex geometries and heterogeneity of the subsurface. Due to the discontinuous nature of the approximation, the spatial discretisation natively provides a mean to impose boundary and interface conditions associated with geometrically complex domains and embedded faults. The method accommodates two- and three-dimensional domains, is of arbitrary order, handles sub- element variations in material properties and supports isoparametric elements, i.e. high-order representations of the exterior and interior boundaries and interfaces including intersecting faults.We provide an open-source reference implementation, Tandem, that utilises highly efficient kernels for evaluating the SIPG linear and bilinear forms, is inherently parallel and well suited to perform high resolution simulations on large scale distributed memory architectures. Further flexibility and efficiency is provided by optionally defining the displacement evaluation via a discrete Green’s function, which is evaluated once in an embarrassingly parallel pre-computation step using algorithmically optimal and scalable sparse parallel solvers and pre-conditioners.We illustrate the characteristics of the SIPG formulation via an extensive suite of verification problems (analytic, manufactured, and code comparison) for elasto-static and seismic cycle problems. Our verification suite demonstrates that high-order convergence of the discrete solution can be achieved in space and time and highlights the benefits of using a high-order representation of the displacement, material properties, and geometry.Lastly, we apply Tandem to realistic demonstration models consisting of a 2D SEAS multi-fault scenario on a shallowly dipping normal fault with four curved splay faults, and a 3D multi-fault scenario of elasto-static instantaneous displacement due to the 2019 Ridgecrest, CA, earthquake sequence. We exploit the curvilinear geometry representation in both application examples and elucidate the importance of accurate stress (or displacement gradient) representation on-fault. Our demonstrator models exploit advantages of both the boundary integral and volumetric methods and open new avenues to pursue extreme scale 3D SEAS simulations in the future.
Article
The rationale of this paper was to investigate whether earthquakes impact airborne pollen concentrations, considering some meteorological parameters. Atmospheric pollen concentrations in the Region of Murcia Aerobiological Network (Spain) were studied in relation to the occurrence of earthquakes of moment magnitude (up to Mw = 5.1) and intensity (intensity up to grade VII on the European Macroseismic Scale). In this study, a decade (2010–2019) was considered across the cities of the network. Earthquakes were detected in 12 out of 1535 days in the Olea Main Pollen Season in Cartagena, 49 out of 1481 days in the Olea Main Pollen Season in Lorca, and 39 out of 1441 days in the Olea Main Pollen Season in Murcia. The Olea pollen grains in this network were attributed to the species Olea europaea, i.e., the olive tree, a taxon that appears widely in the Mediterranean basin, in both cultivated and wild subspecies. Differences between the Olea concentration on days with and without earthquakes were only found in Lorca (Kruskal-Wallis: p-value = 0.026). The low frequency and intensity of the earthquakes explained these results. The most catastrophic earthquake felt in Lorca on May 11th, 2011 (IVII, Mw = 5.1, 9 casualties) did not result in clear variations in pollen concentrations, while meteorology (e.g., African Dust Outbreak) might have conditioned these pollen concentrations. The research should be broadened to other active seismological areas to reinforce the hypothesis of seismological impact on airborne pollen concentrations.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
After the recent seismic activity culminating at the Iran-Iraq border on 12 November 2017 by a Magnitude 7.3 destructive earthquake, this presentation summarizes the fundamentals about earthquakes and the Middle Eastern Seismicity For an audience of Engineers during a workshop held on Nov, 27th 2017 at the initiative of of the Jordanian Engineers association.
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea brine pools represent hypersaline environments famed for their extremophile microbes. With anoxia entirely excluding bioturbating megafauna, brine pools are also conducive to the pristine preservation of sedimentary sequences. Here we use bathymetric and geophysical observations to locate a complex of brine pools in the Gulf of Aqaba consisting of one 10,000 m 2 pool and three minor pools of less than 10 m 2. We further conduct sediment coring and direct sampling of the brine to confirm the sedimentary and environmental characteristics of these pools. We find that the main pool preserves a stratigraphy which spans at least 1200 years and contains a combination of turbidites, likely resulting from flashfloods and local seismicity, and tsunamigenic terrestrial sediment. The NEOM Brine Pools, as we name them, extend the known geographical range of Red Sea brine pools, and represent a unique preservational environment for the sedimentary signals of regional climatic and tectonic events.
Chapter
The Dead Sea area is draining massive tourism and infrastructure investments. However, the area is prone to both induced anthropogenic and natural geological hazards, with indicators requiring innovative monitoring. Hazards are resulting from the zone’s plate boundary tectonic setting and seismicity added to the generalized subsidence and sinkholes proliferation related to decades of accelerating water level lowering of this terminal lake. The Jordan Dead Sea Transform Fault System (JDST)Jordan Dead Sea Transform Fault System (JDST) is an N-S trending and ~ 1000-km-long plate boundary that accommodates ~5 mm/year. left-lateral slip. We focus on the main research results concerning the whole spectrum of destructive seismicity componentsSeismicity components, i.e. Instrumental, historical, archaeo and paleoseismicityPaleoseismicity. Field investigations in earthquakeEarthquakes geology and paleoseismology point out the identification of seismic gaps with long-term temporal quiescence reaching 851 years on the Jordan valleyJordan valley fault segmentSegments compared to 988 years for the Missyaf fault segmentSegments of the JDSTJordan Dead Sea Transform Fault System (JDST) further north in SyriaSyria (as per the year 2021). Destructive historical and instrumental seismicityInstrumental seismicity were subjected to careful robustRobust revision processes. The repetition of seismic events and related earthquakeEarthquakes faulting parameters suggest a high level of seismic hazard and risk along the JDSTJordan Dead Sea Transform Fault System (JDST). From 1992 onwards, research based on space remote sensingRemote sensing techniques, Geographical information systems, and field data collectionCollection has been undertaken to develop a predictive model for salt karst hazards along the Dead SeaDead Sea coast. RadarRadar and optical imageOptical images processingImage processing produced images capable of being interpreted in a geographic information system (GIS)Geographic information system (GIS). The field observations were systematically georeferenced using a GPSGlobal Positioning Systems (GPS) and then imported into the GISGeographic information system (GIS) to be analysed with the processed satellite imagesSatellite images. Each independent data source was used to establish an explanatory model for the prediction of areas at risk of collapse. This approach has been improved over time due to the arrival of an ever greater number of optical and radarRadar images. Image resolution has also increased, allowing inventories of sinkholesSinkholes, especially in the most dangerous locations. This Chapter contributes in filing the gap in the seismological, and remote sensingRemote sensing studies necessary to the sustainable preservationPreservation of this world class cultural heritageCultural heritage zone, the safe economic upgrading of the area and the safety of its inhabitants and visitors.
Article
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We study the sedimentary record of past tsunamis along the coastal area west of Alexandria (NW Egypt) taking into account the occurrence of major historical earthquakes in the eastern Mediterranean. The two selected sites at Kefr Saber (~ 32-km west of Marsa-Matrouh city) and ~ 10 km northwest of El Alamein village are coastal lagoons protected by 2 to 20-m-high dunes parallel to the shoreline. Field data were collected by: (1) Coastal geomorphology along estuaries, wedge-protected and dune-protected lagoons, and (2) identification of paleotsunamis deposits and their spatial distribution using five trenches (1.5-m-depth) at Kefr Saber and twelve cores (1 to 2.5-m-depth) at El Alamein. Detailed logging of sedimentary sections were analysed using X rays, grain size and sorting, total organic and inorganic matter, bulk mineralogy, magnetic susceptibility and radiocarbon dating necessary for the identification of past tsunamis records. Generally of low energy, the stratigraphic succession made of marine and alluvial deposits includes intercalated high-energy deposits made of mixed fine and coarse sand with broken shells, interpreted as catastrophic layers correlated with tsunami deposits. Although the radiocarbon dating of 46 samples consist in mixed old (> 13 000 year BP) and young (
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We present the NEOM Brine Pools, the first complex of brine pools discovered in the Gulf of Aqaba. The discovery was made at 1,770 m water depth and consists of one large pool (10,000 m ² ) flanked by three minor ones (<10 m ² ). Situated immediately at the toe-of-slope, the largest of the NEOM brine pools episodically receives terrestrial outwash from the Saudi coastal plain. A transect of cores through this pool’s bed reveals a stratigraphy spanning the last 1,200 yrs. Major terrestrial inputs to the basin are recorded once per century, which we attribute to tsunami. Turbidite beds, meanwhile, deposit every 25 yrs. and likely record both flashfloods and the pervasive seismicity of the Aragonese Deep, the pull-apart basin in which the pools situate. Such signals are exquisitely preserved beneath the pools as bioturbating organisms cannot occupy the harsh hypersaline, anoxic brine. These observations extend the known geographical range of Red Sea brine pools, introduce a new sediment archive of event horizons, and document a new bathyal ecosystem in the Gulf of Aqaba; ultimately providing a range of significant data that will contribute to the reconstruction of more than one millennium of preserved turbidites, flashfloods, and tsunami sedimentary deposits.
Article
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Crustal deformation and seismic activity in the Levant is mainly related to the interplate Dead Sea Fault (DSF) and the intraplate Carmel-Gilboa Fault System (CGFS). In this study, we analyze the interseismic deformation along these fault systems using 23 years of GPS measurements obtained from 209 campaign and 60 continuous stations. This GPS dataset is the longest record and the densest dataset for the DSF, the CGFS and the Levant region. We use this dataset to investigate the spatial variations of slip and creep rates along the southern and central sections of the DSF and the CGFS. Our inversion model results indicate that part of the tectonic motion is transferred from the DSF to the CGFS. We find that the left-lateral strike-slip motion along the DSF decreases in a rate of 0.9±0.4 mm/yr, from 4.8±0.3 mm/yr south to the intersection with the CGFS, to 3.9±0.4 mm/yr north to this intersection. Along the CGFS the left-lateral strike-slip motion ranges between ~0.3-0.5 mm/yr and the extension rate between ~0.6-0.7 mm/yr, indicating a total slip rate vector of 0.8±0.4 mm/yr in the DSF direction, in agreement with the reduction of slip rate along the DSF near the intersection with the CGFS. Shallow creep is found along the southern and central sections of the Dead Sea basin and the northern Jordan Valley section of the DSF, with creep rates of 3.4±0.4 and 2.3±0.4 mm/yr, respectively. These creeping sections were identified as areas with thick Halite layers at the shallow subsurface. We suggest that shallow creep behavior along the DSF is govern by the presence and mechanical properties of the Halite, which probably allows plastic deformation and the transition to velocity strengthening at the shallow subsurface and promotes creep.
Article
The results of multidisciplinary research carried out on the Byzantine Stylite Tower in Umm ar-Rasas archaeological site (Jordan) are presented in this paper. The study is grounded on the precarious structural conditions of the tower, assessed by UNESCO since 2008. In 2019, during an archaeological campaign, an aerial photogrammetry survey was performed, allowing for the creation of a detailed 3D model of the tower. This new dataset was compared with existing Geomatics surveys (collected in 2016 with Terrestrial Laser Scanner) within a common reference system, showing that the tower leans dangerously in the northwest direction. With the combined use of the photogrammetric and historical investigations data, the structural vulnerability of the building was analysed in-depth. Starting from the new point cloud dataset, a multi-step geometrical modelling strategy was performed to define the structural model based on the actual geometry of the tower. 3D documentation with aerial photogrammetry made it possible, for the first time, to account for the actual 3D geometry of the upper cell in the structural analysis of the tower. Several possible out-of-plane mechanisms involving the upper cell walls and portions of the tower façades were analysed via kinematic analysis using the floor response spectra. The study revealed a new critical and risky scenario, which suggests a prompt intervention for the safe conservation of the tower.
Thesis
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Accumulated data of strong ground motions have been providing us very important knowledge about rupture processes of earthquakes, propagation-path, site-amplification effects on ground motion, the relation between ground motion and damage... However, most of the ground motion databases used in the development of ground motion prediction models are primarily comprised of accelerograms produced by small and moderate earthquakes. Hence, as magnitude increases, the sets of ground motions become sparse. Ground motion databases are poorly sampled for short source-to-site distance ranges (‘Near-fault’ ranges). However, the strongest ground shaking generally occurs close to earthquake fault rupture. Countries of moderate to high seismicity for which major faults can break in the vicinity of its major cities are facing a major seismic risk, but the lack of earthquake recordings makes it difficult to predict ground motion. Strong motion simulations may then be used instead. One of the current challenges for seismologists is the development of reliable methods for simulating near-fault ground motion taking into account the lack of knowledge about the characteristics of a potential rupture. This thesis is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 focuses on better understanding the seismic rupture process and its relation with the near-fault ground motion. The mechanisms of peak ground motion generating are investigated for homogeneous as well as for heterogeneous ruptures. A quantitative sensitivity analysis of the ground motion to the source kinematic parameters is presented, for sites located in the vicinity of the fault rupture, as well as far from the rupture. A second chapter is dedicated to a major near-fault source effect: the directivity effect. This phenomenon happens when the rupture propagates towards a site of interest, with a rupture speed close to the shear-wave speed (Vs); the waves propagating towards the site adds up constructively and generates a large amplitude wave called the pulse. The features of this pulse are of interest for the earthquake engineering community. In this chapter, a simple equation is presented that relates the period of the pulse to the geometric configuration of the rupture and the site of interest, and to the source parameters.Part 2 is dedicated to better estimate the seismic hazard in Lebanon by simulating the strong ground motion at sites near the main fault (the Yammouneh fault). Lebanon is located in an active tectonic environment where the seismic hazard is considered moderate to high. Historically, destructive earthquakes occurred in the past, the last one dates back to 1202. However, strong motion has never been recorded in Lebanon till now due to the presently infrequent large-magnitude seismicity, and therefore facing an alarming note of potential new ruptures. The Yammouneh fault is a large strike-slip fault crossing Lebanon, making all its regions located within 25km away from the fault. At first, the crustal structure tomography of Lebanon, in terms of Vs, is performed using the ambient noise, in order to characterise the wave propagation from the rupture to the ground surface. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the 3D Vs tomography in Lebanon. Afterwards, a hybrid approach is presented to simulate broadband near-fault ground motion . At low-frequencies (≤1Hz), potential ruptures of M7 are simulated (as defined in the previous chapters), and the generated slip rate functions are convolved with the Green’s functions computed for the propagation medium defined by the Vs tomography. The ground-motion is complemented by a high-frequency content (up to 10Hz), using a stochastic model calibrated by near-fault recordings and accounting for the presence of the directivity pulse. The computed peak ground acceleration is compared to the design acceleration in Lebanon.
Article
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The cities of Elat, Israel and neighboring Aqaba, Jordan are major economic, cultural, and seaport centers. They are located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba/Elat (GAE) directly on the Dead Sea Transform. Yet the precise location of the fault trace and its tectonic activity are lacking. The interpretation of seismic reflection profiles across the GAE beach and paleoseismic trench data located 2.2 km north of the shoreline provide evidence that the active offshore mapped Avrona Fault extends onland along the eastern side of the Elat Sabkha (mudflat), where three prominent fault strands crosscut the sedimentary fill. Mismatch of reflector geometry across the faults and flower structures indicate strike-slip faulting with a normal-slip component. Subsurface data from two trenching sites provide evidence for a minimum of two surface ruptures and two paleoliquefaction events. Faulting is constrained by radiocarbon dating for an Event 1 between 897 and 992 CE and Event 2 after 1294 CE. We suggest that the historically documented 1068 CE, and at least one later earthquake in 1458 or 1588 CE, ruptured the Elat Sabkha site. Based on fault mapping, we suggest a minimum value of M 6.6 for the 1068 CE earthquake. Whereas no surface rupture was observed for the 1212 CE historical earthquake, fluidized strata radiocarbon dated to before 1269–1389 CE identified as paleoliquefaction may be attributed to it. Two liquefaction sand-blows mapped in the trench likely formed after 1337 CE and before 1550 CE, which possibly occurred at the same time as in the second faulting event. Our data suggest that no large event occurred along the Avrona segment in the past ~430–550 years. Given a ~ 5 mm/yr slip rate, we conclude that a significant period of time passed since the last surface rupturing on the Avrona Fault, increasing its seismic potential.
Chapter
The complex structure that houses the Holy Tomb of Christ, the so called Holy Aedicule, in the Most Holy Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem has been imposed to considerable damage and structural reformations during its long history. Before the most recent rehabilitation works performed between 2016 and 2017 by the interdisciplinary team of the National Technical University of Athens, the Holy Aedicule has been reconstructed in 1810; however, no later than the first half of the 20th century, a supporting structure was placed at the monument in order to prevent it from further damage. Extensive structural and non-structural damages in recent years, have led to the urgent need for rehabilitation measures. This paper provides a first stage evaluation of the initial condition of the Holy Aedicule under static and seismic loading. This assessment is a part of the series of studies that preceded the rehabilitation works that were performed by the interdisciplinary team of the National Technical University of Athens, completed in March 2017. Based on this initial evaluation a retrofit scheme was applied in order to eliminate the weaknesses of the bearing structure.
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Article
This paper presents the results of radiocarbon dating of bulk mortars and reports an attempt of implementation of the knowledge about the isotopic fractionation, based on δ13C measurements, to make the age correction for mortars, together with verification of such correction based on the percentage estimation of carbonate components, namely binder and aggregate. To evaluate the variability of isotopic fractionation during CO2 absorption by mortar, dependent on the climatic and environmental conditions, and the type of mortar, the δ13C measurements have been performed for the mortars from Sussita (Golan Heights). Such measurements were also made for fragments of natural carbonate rocks and for mortars produced in the laboratory from the same substrate. We propose the recipe for mortars age estimation.
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We present the results of an Italian-Maltese research, carried out to collect the macroseismic data needed to update the seismic catalogue of the Maltese Islands [Galea, 2007]. In this work we adopted the most up-to-date criteria developed by Italian historical seismology, obtaining results that significantly improve knowledge, particularly for the 1650-1923 time-window. Several previously unknown local earthquakes have been identified and evidence has been found of earthquake damage caused to the Maltese Islands both by earthquakes probably located in the Sicilian Channel (1658, 1780, 1861), and by some strong Greek earthquakes (1756, 1810, 1846). The European macroseismic scale 1998 (EMS-98, Grünthal, 1998) was used to assign macroseismic intensities. Basic information on seismic-induced natural phenomena (landslides, tsunamis) was also collected, to be used as a further constraint on the location and size of associated earthquakes, or for paleo-seismological studies. As an added bonus, the study collected evidence of some Sicilian earthquakes unknown to seismological literature and data useful to improve the macroseismic database of already known Sicilian and Greek earthquakes.
Article
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Archaeological structures built across active faults and ruptured by earthquakes have been used as markers to measure the amount of displacement caused by ground motion and thus to estimate the magnitude of ancient earthquakes. The example used in this study is the Crusader fortress at Tel Ateret (Vadum Iacob) in the Jordan Gorge, north of the Sea of Galilee, a site which has been ruptured repeatedly since the Iron Age. We use detailed laser scans and discrete element models of the fortification walls to deduce the slip velocity during the earthquake. Further, we test whether the in-situ observed deformation pattern of the walls allows quantifi-cation of the amount both sides of the fault moved and whether post-seismic creep contributed to total displacement. The dynamic simulation of the reaction of the fortification wall to a variety of earthquake scenarios supports the hypothesis that the wall was ruptured by two earthquakes in 1202 and 1759 CE. For the first time, we can estimate the slip velocity during the earthquakes to 3 and 1 m/s for the two events, attribute the main motion to the Arabian plate with a mostly locked Sinai plate, and exclude significant creep contribution to the observed displacements of 1.25 and 0.5 m, respectively. Considering a minimum long-term slip rate at the site of 2.6 mm/year, there is a deficit of at least 1.6 m slip corresponding to a potential future magnitude 7.5 earthquake ; if we assume~5 mm/year geodetic rate, the deficit is even larger.
Article
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Unique geological and seismotectonic settings may trigger a multicascading hazard and should be identified beforehand. Such is the head of the Gulf of Elat-Aqaba (HGEA) at the northeastern end of the Red Sea where its geology, tectonics, bathymetry, and earthquake and tsunami history exhibit clear potential for earthquake and submarine-landslide tsunami generation. We thus investigated the possible tsunamigenic sources in the gulf and evaluated the resulting hazard at the HGEA. First, we assembled a bathymetric grid and adopted GeoClaw software to simulate most of the earthquake-tsunami scenarios. Next, we resolved the scheme of the largest possible tsunamigenic earthquakes along the deep basins of the Gulf of Elat (GEA) and the associated Dead Sea rift valley, as well as the potential tsunamigenic submarine landslides in the HGEA. The use of GeoClaw was verified against the 1995 tsunami generated by the Nuweiba Mw 7.2 earthquake, and then operated to simulate a suite of earthquake scenarios. Results showed that the marginal faults of Elat Basin pose the highest tsunami hazard to the Israeli part of the HGEA. To better assess that hazard, we screened the geology and seismotectonics of the HGEA and found that the Elat normal fault presents the worst-case scenario for Elat city. It is capable of generating a multicascading threat of earthquake and submarine-landslide tsunami, local subsidence that can increase inundation, and above all, destructive ground motion. Scenarios of a tsunami caused by the worst-case earthquake on the Elat fault simulated by GeoClaw and Ward's (Tsunami, The encyclopedia of solid earth geophysics. 2011, 1473-1493) approach, and submarine landslide in the HGEA simulated by Wang et al.'s (Geophys. J. Int., 2015, 201, 1534-1544) 'Tsunami Squares' approach, demonstrated waves as high as 4 m along these coasts. Accordingly, we constructed a map of the evacuation zone. We also show that strong ground-shaking and retreat of the sea at the HGEA should be considered a tsunami warning, although false alarms are inevitable. Furthermore, tsunami hazard exists all along the gulf and further assessments are needed to quantify this hazard and increase awareness among the area's population.
Data
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The supplemental material contains the data used in the paper. It includes 3 tables: (1) Table S1: list of reliable events associated with DST activity; (2) Table S2: list of doubtful events associated with DST activity; and (3) Table S3: reliable events that affected or damaged regions close to the DST but their MRDZ (Most Reported Damage Zone) is far off any of the DST zones thus implying, most likely, on off-DST seismic activity. Abbreviations used in Tables S1, S2 and S3 appear at the end of the file
Article
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Thirty-five archaeological sites between Lebanon and Gaza on the Mediterranean shore of Israel were surveyed for evidence of relative changes of sea level; and published and unpublished data were compiled on a further 23 sites. Remains of occupation levels were classified into 13 archaeological periods from Neolithic to Crusader, giving a good dating scale over the last 9000 years. The Bronze Age shoreline (4000 years B.P.) is shown to be very close to the present shore along most of the coast, with vertical changes of less than 1.0 m at most sites. For later periods the accuracy of measurement of relative changes of level was improved to a root sum square error of 28 cm.
Article
Iraq has a rather long well-documented history of seismic activity, where 79 events of major and/or minor effect on the community are documented for the period 1260 B.C. through 1900 A.D. Fourteen of these events are listed and described for the first time from an Arabic manuscript. The historical seismicity follows a well-defined pattern and fits with the boundaries of the major tectonic units of Iraq, as well as with the recent seismicity of the country.
Article
A thorough study of the historical seismicity of Israel during the past 4 millenia, the instrumental seismicity during the present century and a 5yr period of recording microearthquakes have provided us with the necessary frequency-magnitude relations of the 5 most active fault systems that dominate the country's seismicity. On the basis of this diverse data, equi-risk contours have been drawn which enable one to estimate earthquake hazard in Israel to urban centers, vital industrial compounds and future major national water and power projects.-Authors
Article
The catalogue lists 270 seismic events with assigned magnitudes, that occurred after 92 B.C. in 18 provinces within 1600km from Jerusalem. In most provinces the list is complete within the specified bounds of time and magnitude. Emphasis is layed on the Dead Sea fault system where the list is believed to be complete from ML more than/equal to 6.4 over the past 43 centuries.-Author
Article
A catalog of historical seismicity from the VIIth to the XVIIIth century A.D. was compiled from Arabic documents (many of which are unpublished manuscripts) for the near and Middle East, and in a lesser measure, for North Africa and Spain. In most cases, detailed descriptions have allowed us to assign Modified Mercalli intensities to the shocks for the localities where they were reported. The detailed chronology of a protracted episode of seismicity in northern Syria between 1156 and 1159 is given shock by shock from the relation of a Damascus chronicler.
Article
A detailed macroseismic study of the July 11, 1927 earthquake was carried out. A quantitative analysis of damage data provided a correlation for estimating (MM) intensities: I = 6.4 + 1.2 log (percentage of damaged houses). Using axis lengths and areas bounded by the ensuing isoseismal lines, the depth (16 to 28 km) of the event was estimated, and its probable epicenter located near Damiya bridge on the Jordan river. A comparison with the equivalent parameters, inferred from instrumental records, shows agreement between both sets of results and thus confirms the validity of the approach used in the macroseismic study. The same procedure of studying macroseismic data was applied to an earlier (January 1, 1837) destructive earthquake. It was found that this latter event orginated in the upper crust, eastward of Safed, with a 6.25 to 6.5 magnitude. The isoseismals of both these major earthquakes are elongated in a north-south direction, along the major structural trend in the area. The southern coastal plain of Israel seems generally less vulnerable to Jordan Rift Valley earthquakes than inland regions of similar epicentral distances, though local pockets of anomalous intensities are observed for both earthquakes.
Article
The field of accelerations of a kinematic fault-model are evaluated in terms of fundamental interference-integrals that depend upon the source-observer geometry and the various spatial and 'temporal source elements. The dependence of the accelerations at various distances r from the fault's center, on the fault's major dimension L and the radiation's wavelength λ are scaled to the three dimensionless 'regionalization-indices': 2πr/λ, 2L2/λr and 0.62 × (L/r) √L/λ. These determine the limits of the far-field, the outer Fresnel-zone and the inner Fresnel-zone respectively. The interference integrals are then evaluated through the stationary-phase approximation and the Fresnel approximation both in the time and frequency domains. In the Fresnel zone they are expressed in terms of the Lommel functions of two variables. The ensuing acceleration field is shown to depend strongly on the shear Mach-number. In subshear-rupture, the acceleration in the near-fault and Fresnel zones decreases exponentially in a direction normal to the fault. In supershear-rupture the acceleration is a Mach-wave that propagates without attenuation along the Mach-lines. The theoretical scaling law for the acceleration in each region is determined. We assert: (1) peak accelerations in the near-fault zone are essentially independent of the earthquake's magnitude; (2) peak accelerations in the near-fault and Fresnel zones are proportional to the particle velocity on the fault; (3) accelerations in the near-fault and Fresnel zones are determined by the radiation from the nearest fault-segment. This explains the elliptical shape of isoseismals, which are locii of equidistant points from the fault.
Article
Seismic data and other geophysical information have been used to investigate the tectonic features of the eastern Mediterranean ridge. It has been found that the main seismic zone of the region follows the Mediterranean ridge. Fault plane solutions of earthquakes show that the axis of compression is horizontal and perpendicular to the trend of the ridge and the axis of tension dips steeply. These solutions also indicate that the underthrusting of the Aegean arc by the African lithospheric plate starts from the Mediterranean ridge. Efficient transmission of body waves across the Mediterranean ridge indicates that this is not a mid-oceanic ridge. There is evidence that the Mediterranean ridge is the remains of sea-floor deformation caused by interaction between the African and Eurasian lithospheric plates. The seismic data indicate tectonic continuity of Cyprus with the Alpine thrust belt.
Article
Fingerprints of earthquakes in the sedimentary record are as yet difficult to identify. This is particularly true for failure phenomena (dewatering, slumping, fault-graded and turbidite structures) that could have been triggered also by other kinds of energy input. Other promising candidates are strange biostratinomic features (convex-down stacking of shells; current-orientation in wave-ripple accumulations), as well as certain preservational features found in geosynclinal pelagic limestones. But in every case, verification of the seismic origin is still needed.
Article
Two hypotheses explaining the origin of the present coastline of Israel, one postulating a tectonic, the other merely a wave-abrasion mechanism, have long been the subject of controversy. The arguments supporting a tectonic origin of the coastline are its linearity and the fact that it consists of an almost continuous line of low cliffs from Khan Yunis in the south to Mount Carmel in the north. The chief argument for an abrasional origin was the dominant trend of the waves coming from the west, perpendicular to that part of the coastline.
Article
Seismological evidence for northern Red Sea tectonics follows from analysis of the March 31, 1969, earthquake. Source parameters are derived from polarities and amplitudes of P waves, spectral amplitudes of Rayleigh waves, and strain steps recorded at the Eilat Observatory. All the data over this wide spectral window point to a single solution that is consistent with known strike of faults in the epicentral region and the geotectonic hypothesis of the rotational movement of Arabia and Sinai relative to the African continent. The solution consists of a shear dislocation of 1 meter and fault area of 450 km2 at a mean depth of 10 km, dipping about 45° to the east-northeast with a strike parallel to the Red Sea axis. The motion is normal sinistral with both dip-slip and strike-slip components. The trend of motion is about 10° northeast. This implies an opening of the Red Sea at the source by some 50 cm along a front of 30 km, and yields a drift rate of the order of a few millimeters per year during this century. The direction of trend lines up with the axis of the Gulf of Eilat and the Jordan rift valley.
Article
A new and improved catalogue of tsunamis observed in Greece and the surrounding area, from antiquity up to the present time, is presented. Reliable information derived from previous catalogues, as well as original historical information which has not been previously taken into account, has been used as data source. As far as the associated earthquakes are concerned, some recent and reliable seismological catalogues have been used as data sources. The main cause of the generation of tsunamis is the shallow seismic activity that occurs along the Hellenic Arc, as well as in the internal seismic zone of the Aegean area. The statistics for tsunamis indicate that the tsunami hazard is low, considering the area in question as a whole. Ten distinct coastal regions in which this hazard can be suggested as medium or high have been defined.
Article
The contention that dissipation within the body of the earth has only a second-order effect on the eigen-frequencies of the free oscillations arises from the neglect of the dispersion that must accompany attenuation. Consideration of three models for the attenuation-dispersion pair shows that frequency shifts of the order of 1% are to be expected — a result of some significance in the inversion of free-oscillation data.
Article
RECENTLY, Ben-Menahem et al. 1 derived tectonic patterns and slip rates in the Jordan Rift Valley by combining a comprehensive study of seismological, historical, geological and morphological data. It was found that the principal seismic activity along the Jordan Valley is due to a left-lateral strike-slip fault, striking 11° east of north and extending for about 50km from 32°N to 31°30′N along the 35° 30′meridian. Its most active part in the past four millenia has been near the monastery of John the Baptist which, according to tradition, is the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan and where Jesus was baptised. The fault trace and its role in the historical seismicity of the area is shown in Fig. 1. It has an estimated mean rate of activity of 2–3 events per century at magnitudes from 5 to 7 (ref. 1). An aseismic slip rate of at least 3 mm yr−1 is taking place along this fault1. Here we show how this activity is reflected in an unusual limnological process which takes place at the bottom of the Dead Sea and which can serve as a ‘geophysical clock’ to date historical events.
Article
The results of two millennia of earthquake documentation, a few decades of macroseismic and instrumental routine seismological observations and five months of microearthquake monitoring, are used to estimate the rate of seismic activity of the Dead Sea fault. It is found that these vastly diverse data which combine long- and short-term tectonic processes, are in good accord with the formula: where N is the annual number of events of local magnitude ML or greater. If this equation is extrapolated to ca. 2000 B.C., it yields a Richter magnitude Ms = 7 for the event of Sodom and Gomorrah which is believed to be associated with the strongest earthquake in the region during historical times.Comparing our findings with the results of other investigators in Turkey, Greece, Aegean Sea and Iran, we note that the b values along the Syrian-African rift zone (0.78–0.86) are smaller than those in Greece and its surrounding seas (0.94–1.16).
Article
The rifting of the Red Sea, the folding of the Zagros-Taurus range (in Turkey and Iran), and the development of the structures in and near Israel appear to have resulted from a northward anti-clockwise rotational movement of Arabia, which occurred in several phases during Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene times. The sinistral strike slip fault of the Dead Sea Fault system participated in this movement. It is hereby suggested that the fold and fault structures in Israel and adjacent areas are drag effects along this strike slip fault.
Article
The purpose of this study was to unveil the tectonics and seismicity, S-wave velocity structure and inelastic behaviour with depth of the earth's crust in the continental Near East. To this end, we have analyzed body wave phases and surface-wave signals from 47 earthquakes in the magnitude range 3.5–6.5 that were originated and recorded in (or close to the margins of) the Near East during 1927–1974. First motions, P- and S-wave forms, radiation patterns of crustal Love and Rayleigh waves, spectral amplitudes, dispersion and travel-time data as well as geologic, morphologic and historical data were used in unison to provide information on tectonic patterns, slip rates and the inelastic properties of the crust. Most of the numerical algorithms and inversion routines that have been generated during the computer era were utilized. In this sense, this is the first experimental effort in which both amplitude and phase data were simultaneously inverted over a broad frequency range to yield information on both source and structural parameters in one stroke.
Article
The seismicity of Israel has been evaluated from documented earthquake records of the present century and two years of routine monitoring of microearthquake activity by means of eleven stations spreading from the Gulf of Elat to northern Galilee.The Dead Sea rift asserts itself as the tectonic feature that accounts for the seismicity of our region. The activity peaks at zones where the fault branches sideways or at a junction with other fault systems. In particular, the crescent fault of Wadi Faria seems to be a zone of high strain accumulation. This is probably the site of many historical earthquakes which caused inland and coastal damage. It is thus found that the most active fault today which constitutes the greatest seismic risk to Israeli metropolitan areas extends along the Dead Sea rift from 31.2°N to 33.4°N.The seismicity around the Dead Sea conforms with the proposed movement along en-echelon faults. While the southwest segment is presently inactive, most of the seismic activity there is limited to the neighbourhood of its eastern shore with extreme seismicity at its southern tip near the prehistorical site of Bab-a-Dara'a. The seismicity of the Arava is much lower than the Jordan-Dead Sea section. The seismicity of the Israeli coast was found to be somewhat higher than that of the Arava.
Article
Frequency—magnitude relations were established for a fault system embedded in a shear zone with dimensions 1000 km × 200 km that extends from the Gulf of Elat to the East-Anatolian fault. The resulting frequency—magnitude relations were found to be in good agreement with both the documented instrumental earthquake statistics for ML ⩾ 4.5 in the present century and microearthquake activity for ML ⩾ 1.5 recorded in Israel and some adjacent territories during 1976–1979. When these frequency—magnitude relations are extended to 2500 B.C., one can account for the maximal magnitude earthquakes that echo in the Bible and are manifested in archaeological excavations.It is found that seismic slip-rates increase significantly from south toward north in such a way that in north-central Israel and Lebanon, seismic slip constitutes only of the motion, the rest being attributed to visco-elastic processes. Further north, as one approaches the collision zone with the Turkish plate, aseismicity tends to disappear and the slip is purely seismic.
A revised earthquake catalogue of Palestine
  • Amiran
Amiran, D., A revised earthquake catalogue of Palestine, Isr. Expl. J., d, 223-246, 1951.
Taher, ttistorical seismicity in the Near and Middle East, North Africa and Spain from Ara-bic documents (7th-Sth Century)
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Plasard, J., and B. Kogoj, Catalogue des Scisms Ressentis au Liban, AheMs M$moirs, 28pp., Ksara, Ohs. Ksara, Lebanon, 1968. Poirier, J.P., and M.A. Taher, ttistorical seismicity in the Near and Middle East, North Africa and Spain from Ara-bic documents (7th-Sth Century), Ball. Seismol. Soc. Am., 70, 2185-2201, 1980. Schaeffer, C.F.A., Stratigraphic Compare4 et Chronologie de l'Asie OccidentMe, 653 pp., Oxford University Press, New York, 1948.
The archaeological results of an expedition to Moab and Dead Sea
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  • W F Albright
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REFERENCES Albright, W.F., The archaeological results of an expedition to Moab and Dead Sea, Bull. Am. Sch. Orient. Res., 7, 2-12, 1924. Albright, W.F., J.L. Kelso, and T.J. Palin, Early Bronze Pottery from Bab-ed-dra in Moab, Bull. Am. Sch. Ori-ent. Res., oe7, 3-13, 1944.
The Dead Sea, Bull. Geol. Surv, Isr., dl, 147pp., 1967. Neev, D., Recent faulting along the Mediterranean Coast of Israel
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Israelite and Phoenician cities during circa 1500-574 B.C.E. (Published with permission of Whitehouse and Whitehourse [1975, p. 103] and W.It@BULLET '@BULLET,j '@BULLET Fig. 10a: Late prehistoric and protohistoric
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