GPS measurements of current crustal movements along the Dead Sea Fault

S. Wdowinski, Y. Bock, G. Baer, L. Prawirodirdjo, N. Bechor, S. Naaman, R. Knafo, Y. Forrai, Y. Melzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


A network of 11 continuous GPS stations was constructed in Israel between 1996 and 2001 to monitor current crustal movements across the Dead Sea Fault (DSF). Analysis of the GPS measurements with respect to the ITRF2000 Reference Frame yields time series of daily site positions containing both secular and seasonal variations. Horizontal secular variations (station velocities) are evaluated with respect to the main tectonic element in the region, the DSF. We use six velocity vectors west of the DSF to define the ITRF2000 pole of the Sinai sub-plate, and rotate the velocity field for all stations into the Sinai reference frame (SRF). The velocity vectors reveal that (1) relative station movements are less than 4 mm/yr; (2) the nine stations located west of the DSF show no statistically significant motion with respect to the SRF; and (3) the two stations located in the Golan Heights (KATZ and ELRO) and a station in Damascus, Syria (UDMC) show 1.7-2.8 mm/yr northward motion with respect to Sinai, indicating a left-lateral motion along the DSF. Using locked-fault models, we estimate the current slip rate across the DSF as 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr. If we exclude the northern sites (ELRO and UDMC), which are located adjacent to the compressional jog of Mount Hermon, our estimate increases to 3.7 ± 0.4 mm/yr. The calculated ITRF2000 Sinai, Eurasia, and Nubia poles and a published pole for Arabia allow us to calculate the current relative plate motion of Sinai-Arabia and Sinai-Nubia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B05403 1-16
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 10 2004


  • Dead Sea Fault
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Space geodesy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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