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Major Quake Likely In Middle East, Survey Finds
National Geographic ^ | 7-26-2007 | Kate Ravilious

Posted on 07/26/2007 1:42:31 PM PDT by blam

Major Quake Likely in Middle East, Survey Finds

Kate Ravilious
for National Geographic News

July 26, 2007

In A.D. 551, a massive earthquake devastated the coast of Phoenicia, now Lebanon. The disaster is well-documented, but scientists had struggled over the years to locate the earthquake fault.

Now a new underwater survey has uncovered the fault and shown that it moves approximately every 1,500 years—which means a disaster is due any day now.

"It is just a matter of time before a destructive tsunami hits this region again," said Iain Stewart, an earthquake expert at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom not involved in the underwater survey.

Hitting the Jackpot

Earthquakes are common in Lebanon, but many of the faults remain unidentified, hidden beneath the deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Surveying this region is difficult because some of the continental shelf drops off very quickly, reaching water depths of around 4,921 feet (1,500 meters) only five miles (eight kilometers) from the shore. (See a Lebanon map.)

Ata Elias of the National Center for Geophysical Research in Beirut, Lebanon, and his colleagues had a hunch that the fault responsible for the A.D. 551 earthquake would lie in this offshore region, so they did an underwater geophysical survey—and "hit the jackpot," Elias said.

By bouncing radio waves off the seafloor and studying the reflection patterns, Elias and his team were able to build a three-dimensional map showing all the lumps and bumps on the seafloor.

Running parallel to the Middle Eastern coast, they discovered a distinctive stepped ridge—the shape made by a "thrust" fault when one of Earth's tectonic plates shoves its way underneath another.

"We inferred that this thrust fault is the source of major earthquakes," Elias said.

The team was able to trace this fault along the coast for more than 62 miles (a hundred kilometers).

The findings are published in the August issue of the journal Geology.

Shell Secrets

Back on land the team found additional evidence to link this fault to the A.D. 551 earthquake. A "staircase" of platforms rising from present-day sea level showed how the land had moved upwards each time the thrust fault moved.

Enlarge Photo

When the thrust fault ruptured it uplifted the coastline by around three feet (one meter), Elias said.

When the platforms were at sea level they were colonized by mollusks. But as soon as they were thrust out of the water by the earthquake the mollusks died.

By dating the mollusk shells on the raised platforms, Elias and his colleagues determined when the thrust fault moved.

At least four earthquakes similar to the A.D. 551 quake have occurred over the last six to seven thousand years, the team found—suggesting a 1,500- to 1,750-year recurrence time for destructive quakes.

From the length of the thrust fault and the amount of uplift of the platforms on land, Elias and his colleagues estimate that the A.D. 551 earthquake must have had a magnitude of about 7.5 on the Moment magnitude scale, a more modern form of measurement than the Richter scale. (What is an earthquake?.)

When the fault ruptured in A.D. 551, part of the the seafloor block collapsed by around 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters). This vertical drop in the water triggered a surging tsunami, which gained height rapidly as it pushed toward land.

Stewart of the University of Plymouth said the study is interesting, but remains cautious about blaming the newfound thrust fault for the A.D. 551 event.

"The Mediterranean has a lot of big earthquakes and there are lots of benches [unstable, newly formed fronts of lava deltas] everywhere. It is hard to link those benches to a particular fault," he said. (Related: "Ancient Tsunami Smashed Europe, Middle East, Study Says" [December 4, 2006].)

Nonetheless, he believes that the risk of another big earthquake occurring is very high, and should be taken seriously.

"In the past this area has had a lot of big earthquakes and tsunamis, but in modern history it has been quite quiet," Stewart said.

"We have been lulled into a false sense of security, just like we were in the [2004 Indian Ocean earthquake]."

Drowned Cities

Archaeological and historical evidence of the A.D. 551 earthquake indicate that this was truly a catastrophic event.

All the major coastal cities between Tripoli and Tyr suffered heavy damage, with Tripoli reported to have "drowned."

Historical records describe "the complete ruin of Berytus (Beirut), Jewel of Phoenicia, and the sea retreating one to two Roman miles, or 4,921 to 9,842 feet (1500 to 3000 meters) from shore. That's enough to ground mooring ships and uncover sunken ones. More than 30,000 people died in Beirut alone. (Who were the Phoenicians?)

"If this earthquake and tsunami were repeated today, it would be a disaster of enormous proportions," said Sanford Holst, an author and expert on ancient Phoenicia.

More than 70 percent of the Lebanese population lives along the coast: Beirut has a population of 1.5 million.

What's more, much of the country's infrastructure is also located along the coast. The main highways, electrical power stations, airports and economic centers are all next to the sea, Elias said.

To prepare for the next big quake, many of the tall buildings that line the coast need to be re-enforced to withstand earthquakes. New buildings need to be built with large earthquakes in mind. And people need to be informed. "We need an earthquake and tsunami alert system and proper emergency plans," Elias said.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 551ad; beirut; berytus; catastrophism; earthquake; godsgravesglyphs; lebanon; major; middleeast; phoenicia; quake; tripoli; tsunami; tyre

1 posted on 07/26/2007 1:42:40 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Maybe I’m an evil man...but I snickered at the thought of God’s wrath on Mooselimb-land...


2 posted on 07/26/2007 1:43:40 PM PDT by RockinRight (Fred Thompson once set fire to a crowd of liberals simply by smoking a cigar and looking upon them)
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To: blam

I get to be first?? Oh boy...WE ARE DOOMED!
Heh heh.


3 posted on 07/26/2007 1:43:55 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG & Catastrophism Ping.


4 posted on 07/26/2007 1:43:59 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

There was a big earthquake in Israel mentioned in the Old Testament........circa 500-600 BC......


5 posted on 07/26/2007 1:44:02 PM PDT by Red Badger (No wonder Mexico is so filthy. Everybody who does cleaning jobs is HERE!.......)
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To: blam

# Amos 1:1
The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—what he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.


6 posted on 07/26/2007 1:45:43 PM PDT by Red Badger (No wonder Mexico is so filthy. Everybody who does cleaning jobs is HERE!.......)
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To: blam

Any day now. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, which changed the political and philosophical climate of Europe was preceded 17 days by the great 1755 Boston earthquake. Wasn’t much to knock over in Boston at the time, but Lisbon was severe.


7 posted on 07/26/2007 1:46:41 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: blam

reinforcing the buildings will probably do nothing many older buildings in the ME use sand as an aggregate and that will not withstand a significant earthquake..


8 posted on 07/26/2007 1:47:06 PM PDT by N3WBI3 (Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak....)
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To: blam

A little older than I thought:
Uzziah King of Israel:
Albright has dated his reign to 783 BC-742 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 767 BC-740 BC.


9 posted on 07/26/2007 1:47:28 PM PDT by Red Badger (No wonder Mexico is so filthy. Everybody who does cleaning jobs is HERE!.......)
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To: RockinRight

# 1 Kings 19:11
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.


10 posted on 07/26/2007 1:48:32 PM PDT by Red Badger (No wonder Mexico is so filthy. Everybody who does cleaning jobs is HERE!.......)
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To: blam

Well, those 30,000 lb. bombs can cause a helluva shakin’.


11 posted on 07/26/2007 1:50:40 PM PDT by AmericanHunter
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To: RockinRight

Don’t forget there are many Christians in Lebanon.


12 posted on 07/26/2007 1:53:13 PM PDT by AngrySpud (Behold, I am The Anti-Chrust ... (I am Anti-Hillary))
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To: blam

Is this the fault that caused the Med to break into the Black Sea?


13 posted on 07/26/2007 1:56:55 PM PDT by nina0113 (If fences don't work, why does the White House have one?)
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To: AngrySpud

they didn’t leave after the hezbulla war?


14 posted on 07/26/2007 1:59:54 PM PDT by ari-freedom
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To: Red Badger

The New Madrid fault, where Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas come together has been predicted to rip by many experts over the years. There have been a few small vibes...


15 posted on 07/26/2007 2:03:29 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: RockinRight

Bad karma man.


16 posted on 07/26/2007 2:10:12 PM PDT by Hazwaste (Now with added lemony freshness!)
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To: RockinRight

Allah’s will. He kicks the crap out of the muzzles with earthquakes. He doesn’t like their ‘religion,’ either.


17 posted on 07/26/2007 2:11:24 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: nina0113
"Is this the fault that caused the Med to break into the Black Sea?"

I think it was the melt water from the Ice Age ending that 'popped' the plug at the Bosphorus that flooded the Black Sea, 7,600 years ago.

That's the same time that the last land connection from the continent to Britain was severed.

18 posted on 07/26/2007 2:30:56 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam
"Major Quake Likely In Middle East, Survey Finds"

"Earth overdue for large asteroid or commet to hit planet."

"Eastern United States overdue for large earthquake."

"Illegal alines overdue to suck up funds bankrupting Social Securty and Medicare/cade."

"Holywood celebreties or rich young women overdue for a DWI arrest."

Give me a break.

19 posted on 07/26/2007 2:33:18 PM PDT by #1CTYankee (That's right, I have no proof. So what of it??)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
The New Madrid Earthquake, the largest earthquake ever recorded in the contiguous United States, occurred on February 7, 1812.
20 posted on 07/26/2007 2:34:39 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Earthquake?! On Earth? Ah, go on....


21 posted on 07/26/2007 2:56:13 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: AngrySpud
Don’t forget there are many Christians in Lebanon.

Such a quake off Lebanon would also do serious damage in Israel, and there is similar massive quake potential within Israel itself.

Don't bother trying to reason with such people - I've seen people gloating over quakes occuring in Christian areas of Indonesia because they thought they were Muslim areas.

22 posted on 07/26/2007 2:58:04 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: blam
Does that mean when the water clears that Israel can reclaim the Gaza Strip?

Just wondering.

23 posted on 07/26/2007 6:07:47 PM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: AngrySpud
Don’t forget there are many Christians in Lebanon.

A tiny fraction of what used to live there.

Incidentally, you forgot the "children". Want to give it another go?

24 posted on 07/26/2007 6:10:05 PM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Strategerist
Don't bother trying to reason with such people - I've seen people gloating over quakes occuring in Christian areas of Indonesia because they thought they were Muslim areas.

Indonesia: muslim - 88%; Christian, 8%.

OK quick where are the "Christian" areas?
Any rational human being assuming the victims are muslim, have an 11 to 1 chance of being right.

Just saying.

25 posted on 07/26/2007 6:15:28 PM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: blam

A recent Discovery Channel special was about the “zipper” effect in turkey. Earthquakes have been moving along that zipper from east to west with great regularity, the next ZIP is just off shore from istanbul, and given the pattern, that’s REAL soon.


26 posted on 07/26/2007 6:28:33 PM PDT by timer (n/0=n=nx0)
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To: timer
"A recent Discovery Channel special was about the “zipper” effect in turkey. Earthquakes have been moving along that zipper from east to west with great regularity, the next ZIP is just off shore from istanbul, and given the pattern, that’s REAL soon."

Yes, I saw that one, you're correct. It's been a while since I saw it though.

27 posted on 07/26/2007 6:38:53 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

My oldest son lives in Brooklyn but went to istanbul last christmas on vacation. Interesting city, 7 layers of different architectural styles/cultures can be seen. Very friendly people. He went to an armenian church service, like jumping back a 1000 years in time with ancient costumes/rites. Then the Hagga Sofia, crusader castles; sad to think that if this next ZIP is as strong as they predict, all of Istanbul will basically be leveled. Sad too because Turkey is a stable country and a member of NATO because of the russian BEAR to the north, they have a problem w/the kurds but al queda knows to stay away from it.


28 posted on 07/26/2007 8:51:42 PM PDT by timer (n/0=n=nx0)
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To: 75thOVI; AFPhys; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; ...
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

29 posted on 07/26/2007 10:46:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

30 posted on 07/26/2007 10:47:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Quix

Thought you may be interested in seeing this, Quix...


31 posted on 07/27/2007 1:01:07 AM PDT by LibertyRocks (Liberty Rocks Blog: http://libertyrocks.wordpress.com)
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To: SunkenCiv

The Book of Revelation predicts that shortly before the Lord comes back, a major earthquake in Jerusalem will kill 7,000. Perhaps this is what causes it.


32 posted on 07/27/2007 2:26:22 AM PDT by Berosus ("The candidates that can't face Fox News can't face Al Qaeda."--Roger Ailes)
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To: SunkenCiv
a disaster is due any day now

Sounds like L.A.

33 posted on 07/27/2007 5:58:25 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Berosus

Where does it say that???


34 posted on 07/27/2007 7:25:09 AM PDT by Jessarah
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To: #1CTYankee
"Earth overdue for large asteroid or commet to hit planet."

"Eastern United States overdue for large earthquake."

"Illegal alines overdue to suck up funds bankrupting Social Securty and Medicare/cade."

"There's a sale at Penney's!"

35 posted on 07/27/2007 7:29:43 AM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: RockinRight

Nah, I thought the same thing.


36 posted on 07/27/2007 7:30:30 AM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: Jessarah

11:13


37 posted on 07/27/2007 10:04:53 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: BenLurkin

L.A. has those every once in a while — “Waterworld” for example.


38 posted on 07/27/2007 10:05:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, July 26, 2007 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

The New Madrid fault, where Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas come together has been predicted to rip by many experts over the years. There have been a few small vibes...

Same thought occured to me.

The fact remains this, like the predicted New Madrid earthquake that wasn’t, is just a guess.

And we don’t yet know enough to dare call it an ‘educated guess’.


39 posted on 07/27/2007 10:09:24 AM PDT by Badeye (You know its a kook site when they ban the word 'kook')
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To: blam

I’m not going to gloat, as I’ve lived on one fault line or another for the last 40 years. Several US areas are due for the “big one” any minute too.


40 posted on 07/27/2007 11:31:43 AM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: RightWhale
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, which changed the political and philosophical climate of Europe

How so?

41 posted on 08/01/2007 7:44:51 PM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: Publius6961

From Wikipedia:

“The most common estimate of Christianity in Lebanon is about 40-45%. It has the largest number of Christians of all the Arab nations.”


42 posted on 08/01/2007 7:50:41 PM PDT by tabsternager
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To: ARCADIA

Coming at the beginning of the scientific revolution the total devastation of the powerful Lisbon was a shock to all. Many re-evaluated their philosophical and even theological stance.


43 posted on 08/02/2007 7:46:49 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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44 posted on 02/10/2014 8:19:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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45 posted on 02/10/2014 8:20:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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