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"The Syrian-African rift segment in the Kinneret area was quiet for 1,200 years and woke up recently"

Says Professor Zvi Ben Avraham, an expert in geodynamics, the Dead Sea basin and the eastern Mediterranean at the School of Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, in an interview with the Hidan website. According to him, the fear is that this specific area may erupt in a large earthquake due to the enormous pressures that have accumulated since the great earthquake that destroyed Beit Shan in 749 * However, there have also been cases where the pressures were released in a series of small earthquakes rather than all at once

The ruins of Beit Shan, as a result of the earthquake in 749 AD. Photo: shutterstock
The ruins of Beit Shan, as a result of the earthquake in 749 AD. Photo: shutterstock

Says Professor Zvi Ben Avraham, an expert in geodynamics, the Dead Sea basin and the eastern Mediterranean at the School of Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, in an interview with the Hidan website.

A series of strong earthquakes have been felt in recent days mainly in the north of the country. According to the American Geological Survey, last night, July 4, 2018 at 22:45 p.m., an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 occurred between Tiberias and Ilivan west of the Sea of ​​Galilee. This is the third earthquake of similar intensity in the last two days and the epicenter of all of them is in the Kinneret area.

We are not surprised by the sequence of earthquakes in the North Kinneret and East Galilee area, we know that this is one of the most active areas in Israel." Says Prof. Ben Avraham who studies the field of geodynamics but emphasizes that he is not a geologist.

"The tremors in North Kinneret and East Galilee did not surprise me in an area where a lot of activity has been measured for quite some time. Most of the earthquakes are 2-3 intensities which are not felt. We measure all the time using precise GPS systems that allow us to measure displacements. All the time the efforts are accumulating, today with scientific GPS it is possible to check displacements at a rate of millimeters per year. We see that the Arab plate on which Jordan lies and the Sinai subplate on which we are, move against each other about five millimeters per year. These are efforts that build up during these movements and are released through earthquakes. Whether in a large earthquake or in a series of small earthquakes.

 

According to Prof. Ben Avraham, there is not much significance in trying to predict the frequency of earthquakes in Israel and its surroundings according to the past. Each time it is a different segment of the Dead Sea rift that 'wakes up'. For example, it is impossible to conclude from the fact that there were strong earthquakes in 1837, the epicenter of which was in Lake Hula, and 1927, that a strong earthquake is expected soon. The reason - these are different centers. After all the Syrian-African divide stretches from Sharm el-Sheikh to the Taurus Mountains in Turkey. In the great earthquakes, sections with a length of only tens of kilometers took part.

But as mentioned, what is worrying is that the Kinneret area, which has been active in recent years, and especially in the last day, has been quiet for over 1,200 years. The last severe earthquake there was in 749. It was a noise so strong that in addition to the cities in the Galilee and the Golan - Susita, Tiberias, Beit Shan and Hazor that were completely destroyed, the noise also caused the destruction of Hisham's palace near Jericho and damage in Jerusalem.

 

The pressures that have accumulated in this area, according to the studies, may cause a strong eruption, but whether it happens tomorrow morning or in fifty years, it is the same from the geological point of view. In any case, there is a danger of a major earthquake in Israel. Whether it will come from the Kinneret area, the Dead Sea or the Carmel rift, it is impossible to know.

These are tremors that you don't feel because the magnitude is 2-3, but the North Kinneret is one of the most active areas in the country. A bigger earthquake happened there. The pressures that have accumulated in this area, according to the studies, may cause a strong eruption, but whether it happens tomorrow morning or in fifty years, it is the same from the geological point of view.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

4 תגובות

  1. Not only does the article suffer from inaccuracies, it also desperately needs serious editing and proofreading.

  2. I wish the climate scientists would touch an evolutionary development similar to the science of geology. The discussion as in this article will be modest and not boastful.

  3. Since a comment I wrote was not published, then again:
    - It is appropriate to call a "break" a sink since its subsidence is a continuous process
    And not a "sudden" break.
    - Its name is Syrian-African since most of it extends in Africa:
    From Mozambique to Ethiopia and along the Red Sea north to Turkey,
    (and not as it says:
    "The Syrian-African rift stretches from Sharm el-Sheikh to the Taurus Mountains in Turkey")
    Interesting and important only that it should be precise...

  4. Interesting, but not accurate as it says:
    "The Syrian-African rift stretches from Sharm el-Sheikh to the Taurus Mountains in Turkey."
    First of all, it is appropriate to call it a dent (and not a fracture) since it was created in a long process
    (and not in a one-time break),
    Also, as his name is - African - which means that most of the outlet is in Africa,
    From the coast of Mozambique and north to northern Ethiopia,
    Further through Yam-Sof, the Gulf of Eilat and north to Turkey,
    Sharm el-Sheikh to Turkey constitutes only a quarter of the entire length of the outlet,
    To be precise…

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