Natural Hazards

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 17–27 | Cite as

The Major Gulf of the Aqaba Earthquake, 22 November 1995 – Maximum Intensity Distribution

  • Eid Al-Tarazi


The major earthquake of 22 November 1995, with a moment magnitude MW = 7.1 and a local magnitude ML 6.2, was the beginning of a seismic swarm that occurred in the central part of the Gulf of Aqaba. During this swarm, thousands of earthquakes occurred with local magnitude ranging between 2 and 6.2 from 22 November 1996 to 31 December 1997, when 2089 earthquakes were detected and/or analyzed by the Jordan Seismological Observatory (JSO). The major earthquake strongly affected the near shoreline cities (Figure 1). The maximum observed intensity on these cities was VIII on the modified Mercalli intensity (MMI) scale. A questionnaire was distributed in the main cities of Jordan one week after the major earthquake. The results of this investigation, which demonstrated the observed intensity distribution for Aqaba city, shows a relationship between local conditions, such as geological foundations and topographical characters, and the extent of the destruction. This conclusion was supported by the maximum peak ground acceleration (PGA) measurements inside Aqaba and Eilat cities. From the results of this questionnaire compiled inside Jordan, and other reports and readings compiled from other nearby countries outside Jordan, a preliminary regional iso-intensity map for this major earthquake of 22 November 1995 is presented in this study.

Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat) earthquake swarm Jordan local site effect maximum observed intensity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Al-Tarazi, E. and Qadan, H.: 1997, Seismic hazard potential expected for dams in Jordan, J. Dirasat. 24, 313-325.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Tarazi, E.: 1992, Investigation and assessment of seismic hazard in Jordan and the region around, PhD Thesis, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.Google Scholar
  3. Arab Center for Engineering Studies: 1987, Site investigation for observation tower-Aqaba-Jordan, local report (unpublished).Google Scholar
  4. Ben-Avraham, Z.: 1985, Structural framework of the Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba), J. Geophys. Res. 90, 703-726.Google Scholar
  5. Ben-Avraham, Z., Garfunkel, Z, Almagor, G. and Hall, J.: 1979, Continental breakup by a leaky transform: the Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba), Science 206, 214-216.Google Scholar
  6. Dar Al-Handasah-Report: 1995, The Aqaba Gulf Earthquake of 1995, consulting company, local report (unpublished), Cairo, Egypt.Google Scholar
  7. Goldberg, M. and Beyth, M.: 1991, Tiran Island: an internal block at the junction of the Red Sea rift and Dead Sea transform, Tectonophysics 198, 261-273.Google Scholar
  8. Hassoup, A., Albert, R., Mohamed A. and El-Hadidy, S.: 1996, Attenuation of intensity in Sinai Peninsula by the 1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquake, Proceedings of the Second Regional Workshop on the Seismicity of the Gulf of Aqaba Region, 3-5 June 1996, Amman, Jordan.Google Scholar
  9. Joffe, S. and Garfunkel, Z.: 1987, Plate kinematics of the circum Red Sea-a reevaluation, Tectonophysics 141, 5-22.Google Scholar
  10. Jordan Seismological Observatory (JSO) bulletin: 1998, Jordan seismological observatory, annual bulletin, Earthquakes in Jordan and around 1995, No. 27, Natural Resources Authority, Amman, Jordan.Google Scholar
  11. PDE bulletin: 1996, Preliminary Determination of Epicenter, U.S. Geol. Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, U.S.A.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eid Al-Tarazi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesHashemite UniversityZarqaJordan

Personalised recommendations