Liquefaction susceptibility maps for the aqaba–elat region with projections of future hazards with sea-level rise

Abdel Rahman A. Abueladas, Tina M. Niemi, Abdallah Al-Zoubi, Gideon Tibor, Mor Kanari, Zvi Ben-Avraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cities of Aqaba, Jordan and Elat, Israel are vulnerable to seismic damage because they are built over the active faults of the Dead Sea Transform that are the source of historically destructive earthquakes. A liquefaction susceptibility map was generated for the Aqaba–Elat region. Borehole data from 149 locations and the water table depth were used to calculate effective overburden stress in the Seed–Idriss simplified method. The liquefaction analysis was based on applying a cyclic loading scenario with horizontal peak ground acceleration of 0.3 g in a major earthquake. The liquefaction map, compiled using a GIS platform, shows high and moderate liquefaction susceptibility zones along the northern coast of the Gulf of Aqaba that extend 800 m inland from the shoreline. In Aqaba, several hotels, luxury apartment complexes, archaeological sites, ports and commercial districts are located within high and moderate liquefaction zones. In Elat, the seaport and the coastal hotel district are located within a high susceptibility zone. Most residential areas, schools and hospitals in both cities are located within zones not susceptible to liquefaction based on the methods of this study. The total area with the potential to be liquefied along the Gulf of Aqaba is c. 10 km2. Given predictions for global sea-level, we ran three liquefaction models utilizing projected water table rises of 0.5, 1 and 2 m. These models yielded an increase in the area of high liquefaction ranging from 26 to 49%. Given the high potential of future earthquakes, our liquefaction susceptibility maps should help inform city officials for hazard mitigation planning.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberqjegh2020-039
JournalQuarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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