Dead Sea Earthquake of 11 February 2004, Mb 5.1 -
A Preliminary Report
The Earth Sciences and Seismic Engineering Center (ESSEC) at An -Najah National University has been established since October 1996 in the city of Nablus. It is the only specialist Center in the West Bank and Gaza Stripe, which represents the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the local and global conferences and workshops concerned with applied geophysics and seismic engineering fields.
Dr. Jalal N. Dabeek
ESSEC Goals and Objectives:
• Formulating a national team to follow up earthquakes studies and data analysis to be used in future development studies.
• Joining together specialized Palestinian experts in earthquakes, seismic engineering and applied earth sciences.
•Exchanging experiences, consultations and information in the field of earth sciences and seismic engineering.
•Making contacts with international organizations to gather data, in order to formulate a national database.
•Making seismic maps and controlling land use policies.
•Achieving coordination and integration with neighboring countries in the field of seismic monitoring networks, aiming at joining the monitoring networks together
•Conducting courses to civil engineers architects, and other specialists.
•Increasing public awareness of earthquake hazard and preparedness through printed materials and special programs in coordination with the civil defense and other groups interested in public safety on the occurrence of earthquakes.
•Reviewing the organizational regulations related to the construction of buildings in order to make them coherent with the earthquakes-resistant rules.
•Carrying out geological and mineral surveys.
•Providing consultation in the design and evaluation of seismic resistant structures.
•Carrying out geological experiments in the field of applied geophysics.
•Giving special attention to engineering geology and dam construction.
•Using GIS systems and remote sensing in the different earth sciences applications.
•Cooperating with other related governmental institutions in the preparation of seismic code for construction in order to make them coherent with the rules of earthquakes-resistance construction.
Currently and Ongoing Activities of the ESSEC:
•Conducting training courses for Engineers in the design of earthquake resistant structures.
•Publishing bulletins to civil engineers and architects about the general recommendations for designing of earthquake resistant buildings. Publishing bulletins to the public about the guidelines of safety measurements on the occurrence of earthquakes
•Offering consultations in the field of seismic resistant buildings, site effect, buildings vulnerability rehabilitation and retrofitting of buildings, and land use planning
•Participating in national and international conferences, meetings and workshops in the fields of seismic hazard mitigation, Earthquakes, Seismic engineering, applied geophysics, environmental earth sciences and land use policy.
•Offering academic courses for different faculties in the University in applied geosciences and Earthquake engineering (Seismic Risk Mitigation, Disaster Management and Emergency support, Applied Geophysics, Earthquake Engineering, Disaster Management and Emergency support and Environmental Geology).
•Offering consulting services for many developing projects in the Palestinian community.
• Publishing awareness materials through national journals, and conducting Radio and TV interviews in the regard of public awarness programs.
•Conducting geophysical experiments to achieve the following:
- Site effect investigations
- Landfill investigations
- Velocity as a guide to rocks strength and assessment of rock quality
- Delineation of bedrock
- Delineation of potential collapse features
- Delineation of shallow faults and cavities
- Groundwater exploration and water quality
- Delineation of aquifer boundaries in sedimentary layers
- Mapping boundaries of saline groundwater
- Mapping of chemical pollution
- Delineation of water-saturated zones in landslide bodies
- Seepages flow in dams and reservoir floors
ESSEC Main Priorities:
•Establishing a seismic net that will be connected with the neighboring.
•Establishing of seismic maps and codes for the designing of buildings and lifelines.
•To estimate the vulnerability of existing structures.
•Carrying out of joint research projects with the regional countries.
•Controlling land use policies.
•Carrying out different geophysical studies (seismic, electric, gravity, etc….. ).
•Increasing public awareness of earthquake hazard and preparedness by communications with the general public through the mass media.
•Establishing structural dynamic laboratories.
•Holding workshops, seminars, conferences and training programs.
The ESSEC has several cooperation agreements and common projects with international institutions and agencies:
•Cooperation agreement with the Natural Resources Authority, (NRA) Amman, Jordan.
•Cooperation agreement with the General Directory of the Natural Resources, Ramallah, Palestine.
•Joint project with the GeoForshungsZentrum (GFZ). Germany.
•Joint project with USAID
•UNESCO, RELEMR Group.
•Royal Scientific Society (RSS)- Amman, Jordan.
•Exchange seismological data with the European- Mediterranean Seismological Center ( EMSC).
Director: Dr. Jalal N. Dabeek
Earth Sciences & Seismic Engineering Center
An-Najah National University
P.O. Box: 7