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Jordanian Seismological Observatory recorded 1,126 seismic activities in 2023

Amman, January 16 –The Jordanian Seismological Observatory at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources recorded 1,126 seismic activities during the past year, including 231 local earthquakes recorded in the Kingdom and neighboring border areas.

The observatory recorded 469 regional earthquakes that occurred in the neighboring regions (the Mediterranean, Cyprus, Turkey, Albania, the Red Sea and Iran), while the number of distant tremors reached 426, the majority of which were concentrated in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

A report issued by the Jordanian Seismological Observatory / Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources stated that local earthquakes were concentrated in the areas of: Dead Sea, Gulf of Aqaba, Wadi Araba, Jordan Valley, and the neighboring border areas, as seismic monitoring devices detected 73 tremors in Wadi Araba, and 71 tremors in the Jordan Valley, Carmel Fault and the neighboring border areas, while the observatory recorded 56 tremors in the Dead Sea, and 22 tremors in the Gulf of Aqaba and the adjacent southern border areas. The observatory also recorded 7 earthquakes in Al-Sarhan, Ruwaished and Al-Safawi fault areas, and two earthquakes occurred in Al-Hasa and Dhiban.

Speaking about the seismic activity in Jordan and neighboring regions, the head of the Seismological Observatory, Engineer Ghassan Sweidan, confirmed that, based on the movement of plates in the region, the seismic activity is concentrated along the borders of the Arab Plate in the Gulf of Aqaba and the Great Rift Valley region, concluding that seismic studies indicate that central and eastern Jordan are the least seismically active areas.

The Jordanian Seismic Observatory, whose main headquarters is in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, monitors, records, and analyzes local, regional, and global seismic activity using the latest international devices and technologies, around the clock, through two types of seismic monitoring stations, represented by a network of monitoring stations, where there are 23 seismic monitoring stations distributed throughout the Kingdom, including 20 Jordanian stations and three international stations, one of them is affiliated with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Organization, and two stations affiliated with the German Seismic Research Center.

The observatory includes devices to monitor strong movement that measure earthquakes above 3.5 degrees on the Richter scale, and there are 19 stations distributed in major cities and installed on dams, in addition to a device to monitor movement in the thermal power station in Aqaba and some engineering facilities to measure displacement in buildings and the acceleration of gravity.

Sweidan pointed out that during the past year, the Observatory established, updated and developed strong movement devices at the strong movement monitoring stations at Yarmouk University, Ashqaf and Azraq, so that they can be contacted remotely.

It is noteworthy that the Jordanian Seismic Observatory built and developed a seismic information database during the year 2022 for the purposes of updating the Jordanian building code, and preparing a “catalogue” of earthquakes that shows the sources of seismic and tectonic activity in Jordan and neighboring regions, in addition to training and qualifying technical personnel working in national institutions and in the neighboring Arab countries, preparing awareness flyers for schools and civil defense, and publishing seismic research and studies in cooperation with scientific institutions locally, regionally and internationally.

Sweidan continued: The mechanism of recording, monitoring and analyzing earthquakes in the observatory is carried out through the stations of the National Seismic Network using devices equipped with special programs to record and analyze seismic information after measuring the arrival time of the primary and secondary seismic waves, the direction of movement of the first wave for each of them, and the time of the wave impact for each station, then the data is analyzed to determine the actual time of earthquakes, their strength according to the Richter scale, and to determine the coordinates of the surface focus and depth of the earthquake.

It is noteworthy that the Jordanian Seismological Observatory was established in 1983 with the aim of monitoring seismic activity, assessing seismic risks in Jordan and neighboring areas, and estimating the extent of the expected damage if it occurs - God forbid -.

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