Offshore evidence for an undocumented tsunami event in the 'low risk' Gulf of Aqaba-Eilat, northern Red Sea

Beverly Goodman Tchernov, Timor Katz, Yonathan Shaked, Nairooz Qupty, Mor Kanari, Tina Niemi, Amotz Agnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the Gulf of Aqaba-Eilat is located in the tectonically active northern Red Sea, it has been described as low-risk with regard to tsunami activity because there are no modern records of damaging tsunami events and only one tsunami (1068 AD) referred to in historical records. However, this assessment may be poorly informed given that the area was formed by and is located along the seismically active Dead Sea Fault, its population is known to fluctuate in size and literacy in part due to its harsh hyper-arid climate, and there is a dearth of field studies addressing the presence or absence of tsunamigenic deposits. Here we show evidence from two offshore cores for a major paleotsunami that occurred ∼2300 years ago with a sedimentological footprint that far exceeds the scarce markers of the historically mentioned 1068 AD event. The interpretation is based on the presence of a laterally continuous and synchronous, anomalous sedimentological deposit that includes allochtonous inclusions and unique structural characteristics. Based on sedimentological parameters, these deposits could not be accounted for by other transport events, or other known background sedimentological processes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0145802
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Goodman Tchernov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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