Timing of earthquake ruptures at the Al Harif Roman aqueduct (Dead Sea fault, Syria) from archaeoseismology and paleoseismology
Published:October 01, 2010
Mohamed Reda Sbeinati, Mustapha Meghraoui, Ghada Suleyman, Francisco Gomez, Pieter Grootes, Marie-Josée Nadeau, Haithem Al Najjar, Riad Al-Ghazzi, 2010. "Timing of earthquake ruptures at the Al Harif Roman aqueduct (Dead Sea fault, Syria) from archaeoseismology and paleoseismology", Ancient Earthquakes, Manuel Sintubin, Iain S. Stewart, Tina M. Niemi, Erhan Altunel
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We studied the faulted Al Harif Roman aqueduct, located on the north–trending, ~90-km-long Missyaf segment of the Dead Sea fault, using four archaeological excavations, three paleoseismic trenches, and the analysis of six tufa cores. Damage to the aqueduct wall exhibits successive left-lateral fault offsets that amount to 13.6 ± 0.2 m since the aqueduct construction, which is dated younger than 65 B.C. Radiocarbon dating of sedimentary units in trenches, building cement of the aqueduct wall, and tufa cores constrain the late Holocene aqueduct history. The building stone types, related cement dating, and tufa deposits of the aqueduct indicate two reconstruction-repair episodes in A.D. 340 ± 20 and A.D. 720 ± 20. The combined analysis of trench results; successive building and repair of aqueduct wall; and tufa onsets, growths, and interruptions suggests the occurrence of four faulting events in the last ~3500 yr, with a cluster of three events in A.D. 160–510, A.D. 625–690, and A.D. 1010–1210, the latter being correlated with the 29 June 1170 large earthquake. Our study provides the timing of late Holocene earthquakes and infers a lower and upper bound of 4.9–6.3 mm/yr slip rate along the Missyaf segment of the Dead Sea fault in Syria. The inferred successive faulting events, fault segment length, and related amount of = 7.3–7.5 for individual earthquakes. The identification of the coseismic slip yield Mw temporal cluster of large seismic events suggests periods of seismic quiescence reaching 1700 yr along the Missyaf fault segment.