Skip to main content


You are viewing the new article page. Let us know what you think. Return to old version

Article | Open | Published:

Statistical investigation of reservoir-induced seismicity in Aswan area, Egypt


The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of the fluctuation of the water level in Lake Nasser on the seismicity in the Aswan area, Egypt. Two statistical methods have been applied using the sequence of seismic events between 1982–1998 with local magnitude m ≥ 2.0, recorded by the Aswan Regional Seismological Center in Egypt. Firstly, a cross-correlation method is adopted to find the relationship between the water level and the seismicity. A maximum correlation coefficient of +0.55 was obtained for the period (1982–1985) at a 60 days time lag. However, coefficients are very small for other periods. Secondly, a point-process procedure is applied to the seismicity for the period (1992–1998), where a hazard function includes a term presenting reservoir-induced seismicity. This analysis confirms a weak relation between the fluctuation of the water level and the seismicity in the area. The result suggests that the seismicity in the area becomes active during a period when the water level is decreasing from the maximum to the minimum.


  1. Anderson, R. E. and R. L. Laney, The influence of late Cenozoic stratigraphy on distribution of impoundment-related seismicity at Lake Mead, Nevada-Arizona, J. Res. U. S. Geol. Surv., 3, 337–343, 1975.

  2. Bell, M. L. and A. Nur, Strength changes due to reservoir-induced pore pressure and stresses and application to Lake Oroville, J. Geophys. Res., 83, 4469–4483, 1978.

  3. Chen, L. Y. and P. Talwani, Reservoir-induced seismicity in China, Pure Appl. Geophys., 153, 133–149, 1998.

  4. Gaber, H. H., Focal mechanisms of earthquakes in Egypt, Bull. Individual Study, Intern. Inst. Seism. Earthq. Engin., Japan, 22, 17–32, 1986.

  5. Gough, D. I. and W. I. Gough, Time dependence and trigger mechanisms for the Kariba (Rhodesia) earthquakes, Eng. Geol., 10, 211–217, 1976.

  6. Gupta, H. K. and B. K. Rastogi, Dams and Earthquakes, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 229, 1976.

  7. Ibenbrahim, A., J. Ni, S. Salyards, and I. M. Ali, Induced seismicity of the Tarbela reservoir, Pakistan, Seism. Res. Lett., 60, 185–197, 1989.

  8. Imoto, M., Point process modeling of reservoir induced seismicity, Journal of Applied Probability, 38A, 2001 (in press).

  9. Ishiguro, M. and H. Akaike, DALL, Davidon’s Algorithm for log Likelihood Maximization—A FORTRAN Subroutine for Statistical Model Builders-, Computer Science Monograph No. 25, The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo, 1989.

  10. Issawi, B., Geology of Nubia west area Western Desert, Egypt, Annals of Geological Survey of Egypt, 8, 237–253, 1978.

  11. Kebeasy, R. M., M. Maamoun, E. Ibrahim, A. Megahed, D. W. Simpson, and W. S. Leith, Earthquake studies at Aswan reservoir, J. Geodynamics, 7, 173–193, 1987.

  12. Kebeasy, R. M., A. I. Bayoumy, and A. A. Gharib, Crustal structure modeling for the northern part of the Aswan Lake area using seismic waves generated by and local earthquakes, J. Geodynamics, 14(1–4), 159–182, 1991.

  13. Keith, C. M., D. W. Simpson, and O. V. Soboleva, Induced seismicity and style of deformation at Nurek reservoir, Tadjik, SSR, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 4609–4624, 1982.

  14. Lee, W. H. K. and J. C. Lahr, HYPO71 (revised): A computer program for determining hypocenter, magnitude, and first motion pattern of local earthquakes, U. S. Geol. Surv., Open File Report, 75-311, 1–116, 1975.

  15. Muco, B., Twenty years seismic monitoring of induced seismicity in northern Albania, Pure Appl. Geophys., 153, 151–162, 1998.

  16. Ogata, Y., Statistical models for earthquake occurrences and residual analysis for point processes, J. Am. Statist. Assoc., 83(401), 9–27, 1988.

  17. Rogers, A. M. and W. H. K. Lee, Seismic study of earthquakes in the Lake Mead, Nevada-Arizona region, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 66, 1657–1681, 1976.

  18. Sakamoto, Y., M. Ishiguro, and G. Kitagawa, Akaike Information Criterion Statistics, 290 pp., D. Reidel Publishing Company, 1986.

  19. Sameh, M. M., Seismicity and water level fluctuation in the Aswan High Dam reservoir, Egypt, Bull. Individual Study, Intern. Inst. Seism. Earthq. Engin., Japan, 28, 31–43, 1992.

  20. Simpson, D. W. and S. K. Negmatullaev, Induced seismicity at Nurek reservoir, Tadjikistan, USSR, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 71, 1561–1586, 1981.

  21. Simpson, D. W., W. S. Leith, and C. H. Scholz, Two types of reservoir-induced seismicity, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 78, 2025–2040, 1988.

  22. Simpson, D. W., A. A. Gharib, and R. M. Kebeasy, Induced seismicity and change in water level at Aswan reservoir, Gerlands Beitrage Zur Geophysik special Issue on Induced Seismicity, 1989.

  23. Snow, D. T., Geodynamics of seismic reservoirs, Proceedings of the Symposium on Percolation through Fissured Rocks, Deut. Ges. Erd-Grundbau Stuttgart, T2-J, 1–19, 1972.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Nobuo Hurukawa.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark


  • Water Level
  • Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence
  • National Earthquake Information Center
  • Stationary Poisson Process
  • Monthly Event