Slip Rate Determination of Dasht-e Bayaz Fault Using Single Grain OSL Dating of Miam Qanat System in Eastern Iran

Morteza Fattahi, Morteza Talebian, Mohammad M. Khatib, Aydin Aghazadeh, Hamideh Amini, Nina Ataei, Robert A. Sloan, Vasile Ersek


This article uses, for the first time, the absolute age for a Qanat system, to determine the slip rate of an earthquake fault. In Iran, many of Qanat galleries were dug in the vicinity of, or directly upon, active faults. In some areas such as Dasht-e Bayaz fault, line of craters are displaced by the activity of the fault, which lead to dry Qanat stream, and consequently to dig new shafts by habitants. By means of measuring the offset between new shafts and old shafts, and considering Qanat antiquity, the estimation of fault slip-rate, which is one of the prominent elements in hazard assessment, becomes possible. This study uses absolute age for a Qanat system, obtained through optically stimulated luminescence dating of grains in spoil heaps of Qanat wells. Feldspar single-grain dating of silt sediments that overlie the construction spoil show that the Miam Qanat was maintained until at least 1.6-2.6 ka. Combination of this age and the 10 meter displacement of Qanat line of shafts by Dasht-e Bayaz fault provide a slip rate of 5.2-4.3 mm/yr for this fault.


Iran, Dasht-e Bayaz, OSL dating, Slip-rate

Full Text:



Wulff, H.E. (1968) The Qanats of Iran.

Scientific American, April, p. 94-105.

Hessami, K., Pantosi, D., Tabassi, H., Shabanian,

E., Abbassi, M., Feghhi, K., and Solaymani, S.

(2003) Paleoearthquakes and slip rates of the

North Tabriz Fault, NW Iran: preliminary results.

Annales Geophysicae, 46, 903-915.

Ambraseys, N.N. and Melville, C.P. (1982) A

History of Persian Earthquakes. Cambridge

University Press, UK.

Ambraseys, N.N. and Tchalenko, J.S. (1969) The

Dasht-e Bayaz (Iran) earthquake of August 31,

: A field report. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 59,


Berberian, M., Jackson, J.A., Qorashi, M., Khatib,

M.M., Priestley, K., Talebian, M., and Ghafory-

Ashtiany, M. (1999) The 1997 May 10 Zirkuh

(Qa'enat) earthquake (Mw 7.2): faulting along the

Sistan suture zone of eastern Iran. Geophysical

Journal International, 136, 671-694.

Berberian, M. and Yeats, R.S. (1999) Contribution

of archaeological data to studies of

earthquake history in the Iranian Plateau.

Journal of Structural Geology, 23, 563-584.

Fattahi, M., Walker, R.T., Khatib, M.M., Dolati,

A., and Bahroudi, A. (2007) Slip-rate estimate

and past earthquakes on the Doruneh fault,

eastern Iran. Geophysical Journal International,

, 691-709.

Fattahi M., Walker, R.T., Talebian, M., Sloan,

R.A., and Rasheedi, A. (2014) Late Quaternary

active faulting and landscape evolution in relation

to the Gowk Fault in the South Golbaf Basin, S.E.

Iran. Geomorphology, 204, 334-343.

Fattahi, M., Aqazadeh, A., Walker, R.T., Talebian,

M., Sloan, R.A., and Khatib, M.M. (2011)

Investigation on the Potential of OSL for dating

qanat in the Dasht-e Bayaz region of northeastern

Iran using the SAR protocol for quartz.

Journal of Seismology and Earthquake Eng.,

, 65-75.

Walker, R. and Fattahi, M. (2011) A framework

of Holocene and Late Pleistocene environmental

change in eastern Iran inferred from the

dating of periods of alluvial fan abandonment,

river terracing, and lake deposition. Quaternary

Science Reviews, 30(9-10), 1256-1271.

Wintle, A.G. and Murray, A.S. (2006) A review

of quartz optically stimulated luminescence

characteristics and their relevance in single

aliquot regeneration dating protocols. Radiation

Measurements, 41, 369-391.

Jacobs, Z., Duller, G.A.T., and Wintle, A.G.

(2006) Interpretation of single grain De distributions

and calculation of De. Radiation

Measurements, 41, 264-277.

Fattahi, M. (2015) OSL dating of the Miam Qanat

(KARIZ) system in NE Iran. Journal of

Archaeological Science, 59, 54-63, http://


  • There are currently no refbacks.