Large earthquakes kill coral reefs at the north-west Gulf af Aqaba

Y. Shaked*, A. Agnon, B. Lazar, S. Marco, U. Avner, M. Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Down-faulting at the north-west margins of the Gulf of Aqaba is inferred to have triggered a catastrophic sedimentary event at 2.3 ka that killed the Elat fringing coral reef. Whereas segments of the Holocene reef were perfectly fossilized and preserved beneath a veneer of siliciclastic sediments, other segments were abraded, settled by nomads, and later re-submerged under 4 m of water. Repeated damage triggered by down-throwing earthquakes degenerate the fringing reefs of the north-west end of the gulf. Conversely, on the north-eastern and southern parts of the gulf, where earthquakes uplift the margins, modern reefs are thriving, attached to uplifted fossil reef terraces. Therefore, coastal subsidence moderates the development of fringing coral reefs during the late Holocene sea-level stand still.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalTerra Nova
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004


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