The rift-like structure and asymmetry of the Dead Sea Fault - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2010

The rift-like structure and asymmetry of the Dead Sea Fault

Jeroen Smit
  • Function : Author
Jean-Pierre Brun
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 840706
Sierd Cloetingh
  • Function : Author
Z. Ben-Avraham
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Whereas the Dead Sea Fault is a major continental transform, active since ca. 13­18 Ma ago, it has a rift-like morphology along its southern part. It has been argued that this results from a transtensional component active since 5 Ma ago, due to a regional plate kinematics change. We present the results of 3D laboratory experiments carried out to test this hypothesis and to explore its consequences for the structure and morphology of the Dead Sea Fault. We conclude that a two-stage tectonic history invoking a first stage of pure strike-slip and a second stage marked by the addition of a minor transtensional component is consistent with most of the striking geological and geophysical features of the Dead Sea Fault. The structural and morphological asymmetry of the Dead Sea Fault can be explained by a transverse horizontal shear in the ductile lower crust below the transform zone. A large-scale heating event of the Arabian mantle is not required to explain these features of the Dead Sea Fault.

Dates and versions

insu-00577780 , version 1 (17-03-2011)

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Jeroen Smit, Jean-Pierre Brun, Sierd Cloetingh, Z. Ben-Avraham. The rift-like structure and asymmetry of the Dead Sea Fault. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2010, 290 (1-2), pp.74-82. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2009.11.060⟩. ⟨insu-00577780⟩
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