Tectonic analysis of the Dead Sea Rift Region since the Late‐Cretaceous based on mesostructures

Yehuda Eyal, Ze'ev Reches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


We have measured the orientations of small faults, slickensides, tectonic stylolites, vein with secondary mineralization, small folds and dikes in Israel and Sinai. These structures are indicators of paleo‐stress or strain and provide the pattern of tectonic deformation. Data were collected at 130 stations, most with tens of separate measurements; most stations showed consistent deformation. Stations were located on exposures ranging from Precambrian crystalline rocks to Pleistocene sediments. We have defined two tectonic stress fields, each relatively uniform in both time and space. One stress field, with dominating maximum horizontal compression trending W to WNW, in the Late Cretaceous to Eocene rocks in the folds and plateaus west of the Dead Sea rift. The second field, with dominating horizontal extension trending E to ENE, in all rocks inside the rift and proximal thereto. The first stress field is called the Syrian Arc stress, and the second is called the Dead Sea stress. A change in style of tectonic deformation, which corresponds to the two stress fields, is manifested also in the major structures in Israel. The Late Cretaceous to Neogene deformation is characterized by long wavelength folds and monoclines, whereas the Neogene to Recent deformation is characterized by normal and strike slip faults and volcanic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-185
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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