Seismicity of the Tihamat-Asir region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Open-File Report 79-1191



Knowledge of the seismicity of the west coast of Saudi Arabia is vitally important to the Kingdom. The eastern margin of the Red Sea, which includes all of the west coast of Saudi Arabia, is possibly cut by transform faults that may be capable of producing earthquakes large enough to cause damage in the heavily populated areas or in the industrial complexes under construction. Prior to this study, there were no seismic stations in Saudi Arabia and no studies of microearthquake activity. It was generally assumed that there were no active faults along the west coast. During the period 20 January to 22 February, 1978, five portable seismic stations were deployed in the Tihamat Asir in the southwest part of the country. A significant level of microearthquake activity was detected at a location that approximately coincides with the landward extension of the proposed transform fault. The recording of these earthquakes demonstrates that there are active faults at this location, probably associated with the currently active Red Sea tectonic system. The practical significance of these earthquakes cannot be evaluated from the few data available, and further studies should be undertaken to determine if there are significant seismic hazards along the west coast of Saudi Arabia. 

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Seismicity of the Tihamat-Asir region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 79-1191
DOI 10.3133/ofr791191
Year Published 1979
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Jiddah, Saudi Arabia
Description i, 20 p.
Country Saudi Arabia
Other Geospatial Tihamat-Asir Region
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page