Orbital- and Millennial-Scale Changes in Lake-Levels Facilitate Earthquake-Triggered Mass Failures in the Dead Sea Basin

Yin Lu*, Jasper Moernaut, Nicolas Waldmann, Revital Bookman, G. Ian Alsop, Aurélia Hubert-Ferrari, Michael Strasser, Amotz Agnon, Shmuel Marco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The possible link between the occurrence of submarine mass failure and climate-driven factors is highly disputed. This is due largely to the lack of comprehensive records of mass failures in the geologic record for which ages, triggers, and preconditioning factors can be reliably constrained. Such controls would allow accurate testing of cause-and-effect relationships. We present a record that comprises 490 earthquake-triggered mass failure deposits from the Dead Sea depocenter over the past 220 kyr that permits a robust statistical evaluation and correlation with potential preconditioning factors. Our data set reveals that (a) at the orbital- and millennial-scale, variable sedimentation rates are not a preconditioning factor for these mass failure deposits; (b) at the centennial-to decadal-scale, earthquake-triggered mass failures can occur at any lake-level state; (c) at the orbital- and millennial-scale, the mass failures are more frequent when lake-levels were high and punctuated by large-amplitude fluctuations.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2021GL093391
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume48
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The Authors.

Keywords

  • Dead Sea
  • mass failures
  • preconditioning factors
  • sea-level change
  • sedimentation rate
  • triggers

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