Deformation of Intrasalt Beds Recorded by Magnetic Fabrics

R. Issachar, R. Weinberger, G. I. Alsop, T. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Intrasalt beds comprise sedimentary layers within a weak rock salt mass. Thick intrasalt beds (hundred meter scale) are common in salt structures, yet their internal deformation has not been investigated in detail as outcrops of such beds are rare. In this study, we explore the internal deformation of thick intrasalt beds exposed along the Sedom salt wall in the Dead Sea Basin. These beds are highly deformed and form a kilometer-scale recumbent fold. We measured the magnetic fabrics from six sites along these beds. Magnetic fabrics reflect the preferred alignment of crystals and grain shapes and are a proven kinematic marker in deformed rocks. Our analysis shows that the magnetic fabrics are mostly controlled by the preferred orientation of clay minerals. The orientations of the principal susceptibility axes vary along the salt wall regardless of the specific rock type. Minimum susceptibility axes (K3 axes) are normal to bedding, whereas maximum susceptibility axes (K1 axes) are subparallel to bedding strike. We suggest that the magnetic fabrics were acquired by strain imposed at a necked region along a subsurface fault, together with folding during passive diapirism. Generally, the magnetic fabrics have not been influenced by the later stage of active diapirism, which led to emergent beds at the surface. Nevertheless, in sites from the upper limb of the recumbent fold, the magnetic fabrics were further deformed by folding at the base of a salt glacier. Our results demonstrate that thick intrasalt beds are mechanically distinct from the encasing flowing salt and preserve information on salt tectonic processes operating at depth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12465-12483
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS)
  • intrasalt beds
  • salt tectonics
  • salt wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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