Paleostress clockwise rotation in the Sinai-Israel sub-plate and the initiation of the Dead Sea Rift

Dov Bahat, Vladimir Frid, Avinoam Rabinovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Measurements of paleostress directions by various investigators in south Turkey and Israel show a clockwise rotation in four stages, spanning in time from Late Cretaceous to Plio-Quaternary. A change from azimuth 293° in the Late Cretaceous to 355° in the Plio-Quaternary yields a mean rotation velocity of ∼0.74° per Ma for this period. However, the rotation speed is not uniform, and it shows a small maximum at 13.5 Ma around the Middle Miocene. These observations seem to support the theory by Letouzey and Trémolières of a connection between the closure of the Tethys Ocean and paleostress rotation around the Mediterranean Sea. They also point to a possible connection between the closure of the Tethys Ocean and stress field rotation along the region that stretched between south Turkey and Sinai. Stress field rotation was also observed at both sides of the belt of Levantine faults at the northern tip of the Dead Sea Rift, which was associated with the formation of this rift. This process followed vertical diapirism and vertical faulting that resulted in the tensile initiation of the Dead Sea Rift around the Dead Sea in the Early Oligocene, starting the separation of the Sinai-Israel sub-plate from the Arabian plate and enabling subsequent displacements along the rift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006

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