Quaternary earthquakes and landslides in the Sea of Galilee area, the Dead Sea Transform: Paleoseismic analysis and implication to the current hazard

Oded Katz, Rivka Amit, Gony Yagoda-Biran, Yossef H. Hatzor, Naomi Porat, Benjamin Medvedev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

A few destructive large (Mw >6) earthquakes occurred close to the Sea of Galilee (SOG) in the last millennia and, along with recorded current seismicity, underscore the seismic hazard to populated areas in the region. In this study we investigate the Late-Pleistocene-Holocene seismic history of the southeastern SOG area, around the northern extension of the Jordan Valley Fault. We integrate results from paleoseismic trenching of recent fault segments rupturing the surface with slope stability analysis of a large landslide that spatially coincides with the faults, to develop a better understanding of the seismic hazard. We have dated fault rupture as well as sliding events with optically stimulated luminescence (OSL).In a series of paleoseismic trenches we found evidence for at least five Mw >6 earthquakes that were dated to ca. 45, 40, 35, 10, and 5 ka. A younger event of <5 ka was also detected. The studied landslide was found to be earthquake-induced, with an estimated critical acceleration close to 0.4 g and multiple sliding events: before 65 ka, and at ca 65, 6, and 5 ka. At least one of the sliding events coincides temporally with a paleo-earthquake (at ca. 5 ka). This association of young faults and large earthquake-induced landslides is not limited to the southeastern SOG, but also characterizes the southwest margins of the lake.Integrating these paleoseismic findings with historical and recent data yields a recurrence time interval of about 500 and about 1500 years, for earthquakes of Mw >6 and Mw >6.5, respectively. Such large earthquakes are expected to result in high ground acceleration of up to 0.5 g and earthquake-induced landslides around the SOG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-294
Number of pages20
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume58
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)

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