The seismicity of the Middle East is characterised by a large number of damaging earthquakes coupled to the Dead Sea Transform Fault (DSTF) and other regional tectonic faults. Earthquakes along these structures pose a considerable seismic hazard to Israel, Jordan, and Palestine.
Therefore in a continuation of the former Dead Sea Transfer Project DESERT (founded by the DFG and GFZ) a new project started in 2005. Whereas DESERT was focused on the southernmost part of the DSTF, the new project DESIRE (DEad Sea Integrated REsearch Project) will concentrate on the Dead Sea Basin as the central part of the DSTF and will represent new seismological data, such as reliable and high accurate hypocenter data.
The contribution of our section to this multi-national and interdisciplinary DESIRE project is directed to an updated probabilistic assessment of the seismic hazard of this area. The basic steps of our work are the compilation and unification of a new homogeneous earthquake data bank including all known local catalogues and available data, the reinterpretation of historical earthquakes during the last 2000 years as well as a systematic investigation of paleo-seismological data in order to improve prehistoric earthquake reports.
Updated PSHA methods, including the use of the logic tree algorithm to account for uncertainties of the various input parameters, will be modified to suit the conditions of the target area.
The classic PSHA is found on the stationarity of the seismicity and considers no variations with time. Since the seismicity in the Dead Sea region shows large variations in past 2,000 years, however, time dependent PSHA will be developed for application to the special conditions of the investigated area. The results will form the foundation to improve the earthquake safety design for earthquake engineering and decision makers, and to provide relevant data for emergency and mitigation strategies.