Geology of the Metulla quadrangle, northern Israel: Implications for the offset along the Dead Sea Rift

Amihai Sneh, Ram Weinberger

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35 Scopus citations


A stratigraphic analysis of Jurassic to Eocene rock units in the Metulla quadrangle provides ample evidence for a left-lateral offset based on the differences between the two sides of the Dead Sea Rift (DSR). The stratigraphic evidence for this offset is as follows: (1) The Jurassic Kidod shales of Mount Hermon face a limestone domain on the west side of the DSR throughout all of the Galilee; (2) the Neocomian volcanic sequence east of the DSR at the base of the Hatira sandstones in Mount Hermon is equivalent to the Tayasir Volcanics to its west in northern Samaria, and is different from the volcanic sequence of the Naftali Mountains and of Gebel Niha, which occur higher in the stratigraphic section; (3) sandstones of the Aptian Hidra Formation exposed in Mount Hermon are correlated with sandstones from the same stratigraphic unit in Samaria, while the Hidra Formation in the Naftali Mountains lacks sandstones; (4) the Albian Mas'ada Formation of Mount Hermon comprises limestone in the lower part and marl above it, while the equivalent Rama Formation in the Naftali Mountains is basically a marl sequence; (5) the Turonian Bina Formation exposed in the Shamir "windows" is divided into three units comparable to the Derorim, Shivta, and Nezer formations in the Gilboa Mountains, 90 km to the south and west of the DSR; (6) the Paleocene Taqiye marls in the Hula 3 borehole, north of Kefar Gil'adi and less than 2 km to the east of the Qiryat Shemona fault (and west of the Tel Hay fault) is about 360 m thick, which is comparable with the 370-m section exposed in Nahal Bezeq 100 km to the south, only several kilometers west of the western fault of the DSR. The Taqiye Formation of the Naftali Mountains is much thinner, and it appears in a marl and chert facies. Based on the last evidence, we suggest that the Qiryat Shemona fault forms the boundary between the African and Arabian plates in northern Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


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