The Dead Sea Transform (DST) is a major plate boundary separating the African and Arabian plates. It extends over 1000 km from the Red Sea rift in the south to the Taurus collision zone in the north. Present-day left-lateral motion is 4±2 mm/year which is consistent with the kinematics of the Arabian plate assuming a rotation rate of about 0.4°/Ma around a pole at 31.1°N and 26.7°E relative to Africa (Klinger et al., 2000a). The DST became active about 18-21 Ma ago and since then, it has accommodated about 100 km of left-lateral slip (Garfunkel et al., 1981; Courtillot et al., 1987). In the area between the Dead Sea and Red Sea the DST is marked by the Arava fault (indicated by a dashed line in Figure 1) which may have the potential to produce Mw ~ 7 earthquakes along some of its segments about every 200 years (Klinger et al., 2000b).
The aim of the interdisciplinary and multi-scale Dead Sea Rift Transect (DESERT) project (DESERT Group, 2000) is to shed light on the question of how large shear zones work. DESERT consists of several geophysical sub-projects that are carried out by partners in Germany, Israel, Jordan and Palestine. Principal investigators are Michael Weber in Germany, Zvi Ben-Avraham in Israel, Khalil Abu-Ayyash in Jordan, and Radwan El-Kelani in the Palestine Territories. One of the sub-projects was a large-scale passive seismic experiment which was conducted in Israel, Jordan, and the territory of the Palestinian Authority. Aims of the project are (a) study of crust and mantle structure with the receiver function (RF) method, (b) travel-time tomography, (c) to investigate azimuthal anisotropy in crust and upper mantle from shear wave splitting, and (d) the study of local seismicity. In this note, we give a brief overview on the field experiment and the data archiving procedure.