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Researchers from Tel Aviv University predict a severe earthquake in our region

After examining the order of occurrence of the earthquakes throughout history in the Dead Sea basin

The broken pool at Umm al-Kantar, Golan Heights, as revealed in the archaeological excavations conducted by Jesus Drey and Ilana Gonen.
The broken pool at Umm al-Kantar, Golan Heights, as revealed in the archaeological excavations conducted by Jesus Drey and Ilana Gonen.
Archaeological remains throughout the Middle East testify to frequent damage by earthquakes. Analyzing historical earthquake damage shows its strength and origin.

According to one-of-a-kind findings that were recently uncovered in an archaeological dig conducted by Jesus Drey and Ilana Gonen at the Umm El Kantar site in the Golan Heights, research student Neta Wechsler from the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Tel Aviv University, found the place where the earthquake that hit the site occurred.

The research was conducted under the joint guidance of Dr. Oded Katz from the Geological Institute and Dr. Shmuel Marko from Tel Aviv University as part of the effort to understand the order of occurrence of earthquakes throughout history in the Dead Sea Rift through which it is possible to understand what is expected in the future.

Historical sources and observations at archaeological sites show that for a very long time there was no strong earthquake in the Dead Sea rift in the section between the Dead Sea itself and the Sea of ​​Galilee. After a series of approximately 7 degree earthquakes that began in 31 BC (an earthquake that Josephus Flavius ​​described in detail in his book Wars of the Jews) and continued with earthquakes in the years 363, 749, and 1033, there was "quiet" except for relatively small earthquakes of approximately 6 degree such as the one in the north of the Dead Sea in 11/7/1927 and hit Jerusalem and its surroundings no strong tremors occurred.

The researchers agree that there is no doubt that a strong earthquake is expected to occur in the future, but it is not yet possible to predict its time precisely. Dr. Marko points out that "the silence is worrisome because, similar to waiting for the first rain - the longer the summer, the closer the arrival of the shooter, even if the exact time when it fell cannot be determined."

Dr. Marko explains that the main cause of the earthquakes in the region is in the Dead Sea rift which is located along the Gulf of Eilat, the Arabah, the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley and further to southern Turkey, a boundary between two plates of the earth's crust that slide side by side. The eastern plate mainly includes the Arabian Peninsula, hence its name "Arabian plate" and the western plate is called the "Sinai plate" after the main area included in it. Every time the relative motion causes a rupture in part of the boundary, an earthquake occurs.

The excavations at Umm Al Kantar revealed a broken water pool and its two parts are shifted about a meter relative to each other. The pool where spring water was stored was used as a soaking pool for an industrial plant of the nearby village which was inhabited from the Byzantine period until the middle of the 8th century. The village was destroyed and among the ruins was a magnificent synagogue that collapsed and fortunately its building blocks were not looted, unlike many other sites in the Golan. Geological and topographic mapping conducted on the spot shows that the pool broke because it was located on a large landslide that probably occurred as a result of an earthquake. The block of land slid down the slope at a rate that can be measured thanks to the broken pool - about one meter. A mechanical analysis of the ground at the base of the rock block that slid made it possible to estimate the acceleration needed to bring the slope out of equilibrium and cause a slide. The acceleration makes it possible to estimate the distance from the epicenter of the earthquake given its size (magnitude) according to the Richter scale.

The results of the mechanical analysis showed that only a strong earthquake could cause the slope to slide; If we assume based on the extent of the destruction to the residents of the area that the earthquake was magnitude 7 on the Richter scale, then the epicenter was in the vicinity of the Sea of ​​Galilee.

The abandonment of Umm Al Kantar in the middle of the 8th century, as shown by the archaeological findings, can be interpreted as a result of the earthquake that occurred on January 18, 749, an earthquake that caused destruction throughout the entire region. Historical sources tell of the collapse of 30 synagogues in Tiberias. Archaeological findings show that the earthquake also hit Beit Shan, Tiberias, Susita and more. The current analysis allows a quantitative assessment of the intensity and location of the 749 earthquake. The results are consistent with what is known about the large spatial impact of this earthquake (high magnitude, over 7).

The study at Umm Al Kantar demonstrates how geologists are assisted by archaeologists and historians in the study of earthquakes. The information about the earthquakes in the Middle East is a collection of historical sources in the work of collecting and translating many historians, especially the works of Emmanuelle Gidoboni from the University of Bologna in Italy today and the late David Amiran in the past were used. The researchers interpret the collection of ancient sayings and writings in terms of today's earthquakes. The fact that during an earthquake there was a rupture in the Earth's crust was discovered by researchers only at the beginning of the 20th century. Researchers today interpret the reports of the destruction and try to reconstruct where that rupture was in the historical earthquakes. The movement of the blocks on both sides of the rupture was between a few tens of centimeters and a few meters. In our area, the block east of the rift usually moves north and the western one moves south.

6 תגובות

  1. To the concerned citizen:
    It is difficult to decipher a XNUMXD reality using one (XNUMXD) photograph.
    It actually seems to me that this is a slide and that the shift between the two parts of the pool is vertical, but I wouldn't swear to that just based on the picture.
    The advantage of the people who were in the field is that, beyond their control over the subject, they also saw the place in a three-dimensional way and even (as written and as expected of them) were based on geological and topographical mapping.
    I think that to disagree with their opinion based on a picture (and not just any picture but one that can be perceived as confirming their opinion) is a bit hasty.

  2. Both the Chinese calendar and the Arab calendar are moving north!
    The Arabian plate moves at a faster rate than the Chinese plate and we get a leftward horizontal displacement fraction.
    From the photo it seems to me that the breaking of the storage pool is due to the movement of the plates and not from sliding.
    The fracture crack between the two plates is clearly visible.
    A similar phenomenon can be seen at Misad Ataret above the Daughters of Ya'akov Bridge

  3. 1. In order to predict an earthquake in our regions, you don't need to be a researcher. Enough to go through the history books.

    2. Strange, but not only in Tel Aviv, researchers predict an earthquake in our region. All earthquake researchers around the world predict this. It is strange that this fact was omitted from the article.

    3. I find it puzzling that the Geophysical Institute took over an hour to publish the findings of the earthquake on 15/2, while experts on their behalf are scrutinizing the media and claiming that the epicenter must have been in Israel and not in Lebanon. This whole circus would have been funny, if it weren't for the time when the media and the Geophysical Institute were struggling with their inability to provide data, the earthquake data had already appeared in an accurate and complete form on all the most important websites in the world, dealing with activity and monitoring earthquakes.

    I hope our earthquake experts are not trying to prevent public panic rather than revealing the truth to the public. This point came up for me especially after the ridiculous proposal to place cages in schools, where the students will enter when there is noise...

    Ignoble Award - did we say that already???

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