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12,000-Year-Long Record of 10 to 13 Paleoearthquakes on the Yammoûneh Fault, Levant Fault System, Lebanon

Daëron, Mathieu and Klinger, Yann and Tapponnier, Paul and Elias, Ata and Jacques, Eric and Sursock, Alexandre (2007) 12,000-Year-Long Record of 10 to 13 Paleoearthquakes on the Yammoûneh Fault, Levant Fault System, Lebanon. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 97 (3). pp. 749-771. ISSN 0037-1106. doi:10.1785/0120060106.

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We present results of the first paleoseismic study of the Yammoûneh fault, the main on-land segment of the Levant fault system within the Lebanese restraining bend. A trench was excavated in the Yammoûneh paleolake, where the fault cuts through finely laminated sequences of marls and clays. First-order variations throughout this outstanding stratigraphic record appear to reflect climate change at centennial and millennial scales. The lake beds are offset and deformed in a 2-m- wide zone coinciding with the mapped fault trace. Ten to thirteen events are identified, extending back more than ~12 kyr. Reliable age bounds on seven of these events constrain the mean seismic return time to 1127 ± 135 yr between ~12 ka and ~6.4 ka, implying that this fault slips in infrequent but large (M ~ 7.5) earthquakes. Our results also provide conclusive evidence that the latest event at this site was the great A.D. 1202 historical earthquake, and suggest that the Yammoûneh fault might have been the source of a less well-known event circa A.D. 350. These findings, combined with previous paleoseismic data from the Zebadani valley, imply that the parallel faults bounding the Beqaa release strain in events with comparable recurrence intervals but significantly different magnitudes. Our results contribute to document the clustering of large events on the Levant fault into centennial episodes, such as that during the eleventh through twelfth centuries, separated by millennial periods of quiescence, and raise the possibility of a M > 7 event occurring on the Yammoûneh fault in the coming century. Such a scenario should be taken into account in regional seismic-hazard assessments and planned for accordingly.

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Additional Information:© 2007 Seismological Society of America. Manuscript received 15 May 2006. Many thanks to everyone at the National Center for Geophysical Research in Bhannes, Lebanon, for their invaluable help in the field. This work has been supported by the National Council for Scientific Research of Lebanon, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of France, and the French Ministe`re des Affaires Etrange`res. Additional funding was provided by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris. We wish to thank NCSR General Secretary M. Hamze, for his long-term support; G. Seitz and M. Kashgarian, for help and advice about radiocarbon sample processing and AMS; and F. Gasse, for sharing her early paleoclimatic and palynological results. This article benefitted greatly from thorough reviews by T. Niemi and G. Biasi. This is Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris contribution no. 2190.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Council for Scientific Research of LebanonUNSPECIFIED
Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of FranceUNSPECIFIED
French Ministe`re des Affaires Etrange`resUNSPECIFIED
Institut de Physique du Globe de ParisUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Asia; Cenozoic; earthquakes; East Mediterranean; faults; geologic hazards; Holocene; Lebanon; Levantine Basin; magnitude; Mediterranean Sea; Middle East; neotectonics; paleoseismicity; Pleistocene; Quaternary; risk assessment; seismic risk; seismotectonics; tectonics; upper Pleistocene; Yammouneh Fault
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100309-142208165
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Official Citation:Mathieu Daeron, Yann Klinger, Paul Tapponnier, Ata Elias, Eric Jacques, and Alexandre Sursock 12,000-year-long record of 10 to 13 paleoearthquakes on the Yammouneh Fault, Levant fault system, Lebanon Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (June 2007), 97(3):749-771
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17709
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Mar 2010 21:51
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:38

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