Tectonic evolution of the southern Levant margin since Mesozoic

Clément Hardy, Catherine Homberg, Yehuda Eyal, Éric Barrier, Carla Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Recognition of syndepositional faults and mechanical analysis of fault-slip data are used to reconstruct a high resolution tectonic evolution of Israel, and to characterize the stress fields associated with the major tectonic deformation events of this area since Mesozoic times. Syndepositional normal faults recognized in Mesozoic and Paleogene rocks indicate three extensive deformation phases that were active at least during Early Jurassic, Campanian, and Eocene times. Inversion of fault-slip data indicate that a NE-SW extension characterizes the two first events, whereas orientation of extension during the Eocene was N-S to NNE-SSW. Several scenarios are proposed to explain these newly documented normal faults. Measured faults also document synchronous strike-slip and reverse regimes. Unambiguous chronological relationships between fault-data and bedding attest that a WNW-ESE to NW-SE compression is associated with the Syrian Arc folding event during the Late Cretaceous times. This compression pursued during the development of the Dead Sea transform plate boundary but its relationship with Neogene structures is unclear. Fault-data suggest that folding during the Neogene was driven by a regional NNW-SSE compression. A minor NE-SW compression was also recognized but no compatible large-scale structures were found to date. We also show that the post-Pliocene normal faults developed under a NE-SW extension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-225
Number of pages15
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2010


  • Israel
  • Levant region
  • Mechanical inversion
  • Tectonic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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