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Seismic depth-domain stratigraphic classification of the Golan Heights, central Dead Sea Fault

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2011.08.007
  • Golan Heights
  • Dead Sea Fault
  • Palmyrides
  • Jordanian Highlands
  • Depth-Domain Seismics
  • Sub-Basalt Seismic Imaging
  • Earth Science


Abstract A set of twenty five 2-D seismic profiles acquired over the Golan Heights basaltic plateau, central Dead Sea Fault segment, was processed and analyzed in the depth domain. The data were processed by the Pre-Stack Depth Migration techniques and, despite the thick basaltic layer entirely covering the plateau, shows surprisingly good quality. The study presents stratigraphic identification of eleven seismic markers recognized on the output depth-domain sections and their correlation with the adjacent Syrian, Jordanian and Israeli stratigraphic columns. Based on this regional correlation, the deep-seated structure and stratigraphic column underlying the extensive basaltic cover are addressed through structural mapping and isopach calculations, as well as through compilation of regional geological cross-sections. Results of the depth-domain seismic interpretation suggest that the Golan Heights covers a structural depression in which more than 8500 m of Late Proterozoic to Neogene sedimentary succession has accumulated, amid the Jordanian Highlands and the Mt. Hermon Anticline. The Infracambrian–Paleozoic succession attains a thickness of 3000–3500 m, while as much as 1500 m of this figure is attributed to the Late Proterozoic Saramuj Formation. The Mesozoic succession, outlined by the significant northward and north-western thickening of the Triassic and Jurassic successions, attains a cumulative thickness of 5 km in the Northern Golan. The Senonian–Cenozoic succession outlines the syncline nature of the Golan Plateau, attaining a thickness of 1.5–2 km at the central parts of the plateau. The estimated thickness of the Plio–Pleistocene basalt flows that cover the study area locally exceeds 1000 m. Two fault strands of the Dead Sea Fault System are recognized in the subsurface of the plateau: the Sheikh-Ali and Shamir Faults. The strands are interpreted beneath the basalt cover, extending into the plateau at a considerable distance from their surface expression next to the Arabian–Sinai plate boundary frontier, exhibiting various styles of deformation.

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