Seismicity Induced at the Northern Dead Sea Transform Fault, Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) Basin, by Shallow Creep Involving a Salt Body

O. Barnea Cohen*, S. Cesca, T. Dahm, A. Hofstetter, Y. Hamiel, A. Agnon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In October 2013 and July–August 2018, two extensive earthquake swarms shook the northern reaches of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Former studies explored the swarms, resulting in discrepant depths and mechanisms. Here, we attempt to settle the discrepant interpretations using alternative seismological methods and some unpublished data from borehole seismometers. We propose a hypothesis for the faulting phenomenon focusing on the interaction of the two plate boundary segments that step-over the northern Kinneret depocenter: a creeping segment in the south and a locked segment in the north. The energy accumulated from the interaction induces earthquake swarms from time to time. A shallow fault patch (from the surface down to 1.5 ± 1.0 km) south of the swarms is thought to creep in association with a salt formation underlying some of the basin fill. We use regional seismograms, including two near-source borehole stations, to refine the characteristics of the swarms. We test hypocentral and centroid depths using several methods and different velocity models and corroborate shallow ruptures: the majority are shallower than 6 km (all shallower than ≤10 km). The hypocentral locations and focal mechanisms suggest shallow NW-SE normal faults splaying from the tip of the creeping segment in a horsetail pattern. We test the hypothesis by Coulomb stress calculations that show stress concentration at the step-over interaction zone, consistent with focal locations and mechanisms of the earthquake swarms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2022TC007247
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Wiley Periodicals LLC. The Authors.


  • Dead Sea Transform Fault
  • Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)
  • creep
  • earthquake swarm
  • induced seismicity
  • salt flow


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