Erroneous interpretation of historical documents related to the epicenter of the 1927 Jericho earthquake in the Holy Land

R. Avni, D. Bowman, A. Shapira, A. Nur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The 1927 earthquake was the strongest seismic event (M = 6.2) of the 20th century in the Holy Land and the first significant one in the region to be recorded worldwide by seismometers. By quoting the seismological station in Ksara, the ISS located the epicenter 40 km north of the Dead Sea. This location, which was supported by secondary and tertiary macroseismic 'evidence' and became one of the most accepted 'facts', was never questioned nor reevaluated. We show how an initial mistaken earthquake location, supported by questionable evidence, struck roots and eventually became an accepted fact. This typical 'chain of errors' may serve as a warning regarding treatment of historical macroseismic sources, as well as historical microseismic documents. The conclusions drawn from this study, while focusing on historical documentation, fit well the new epicenter of the 1927 earthquake, recalculated in our former study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Seismology
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2002

Keywords

  • Epicenter
  • Historical earthquakes
  • Macroseismic data
  • Seismic intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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