Schweppe, Gregor (2019). The Discrete Element Method in Archaeoseismological Research – Two Case Studies in Israel. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Quantitative methods and computer simulations have become important in the field of archaeoseismology. In this work two approaches to investigate the ground motion history of two archaeological sites with computer models based on the discrete element method (DEM) are presented. During the model development, three software codes are tried out to test which are suited best for these simulations. Both sites focused on in this work are located in Israel. At the ruin of the Roman Temple of Kedesh the concept of precariously balanced archaeological structures (PBAS) was introduced, in which the presence or absence of a certain ground motion in the past can be estimated. Since the destruction of the temple the ruin was exposed to numerous earthquakes. The goal was to identify which ground motion would have destroyed the ruin. In 108 simulations with cycloidal pulses as ground motion the response of the ruin was calculated. Additionally, eight earthquake scenarios with seven synthetic seismograms and one recorded earthquake were used to test the stability of the ruin. The results of the earthquake scenarios show that only the recorded one would have destroyed the ruin. The concept of PBAS does not only provide information about the current stability of the structure, but also gives information about the parameters of the past earthquakes ground motions. The ruin of the Crusader Fortress of Tell Ateret sits directly on the Dead Sea Transform Fault (DSTF); the fortification walls show a significant lateral offset that is related to movement along the fault line. It is unknown whether the offset is the consequence of rapid movements during earthquakes or of slow creeping motion. In a discrete element (DE) model the original state of the northern fortification wall was reconstructed. This formed the basis for 58 numerical simulations, in which the response of the model to ground motions were calculated. The simulations covered different movement directions and slip velocities along the fault line. The results support the hypothesis that two coseismic movements displaced the fortification walls and also reveal that most of the slip occurred east of the fault line. Slip velocities of 3 m/s and 1 m/s could be estimated for the two movements. These can be assigned to two past earthquakes which occurred in 1202 and 1759.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Schweppe, Gregormail@gregorschweppe.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-97291
Date: 2019
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Geosciences > Institute of Geology and Mineralog
Subjects: Earth sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Archaeoseismology; Discrete Element Method; Israel; Precariously Balanced Archaeological StructuresEnglish
Date of oral exam: 6 June 2019
NameAcademic Title
Hinzen, K.-G.Prof. Dr.
Melles, M.Prof. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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