Abstract

Examination of the Serghaya fault, a branch of the Dead Sea Fault System in western Syria and eastern Lebanon, documents Late Quaternary and Recent left-lateral fault movements including the probable remnant of a historic coseismic surface rupture. Carbon-14 dating and the presence of fault-scarp free faces in soft, late Pleistocene lake deposits suggest coseismic slip during the past two or three centuries, possibly corresponding with one of the well-documented earthquakes of 1705 or 1759. With an estimated Holocene slip rate of 1–2 mm a−1, the Serghaya Fault accommodates a significant part of the active deformation along the Arabian–African plate boundary. These results suggest that multiple active fault branches are involved in the transfer of strain through the ‘Lebanese’ restraining bend.

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