Abstract To assess the young tectonic activity along the western margins of the Dead Sea and north of the lake, faults were studied within sediments which are up to 60,000 years old. The western margins of the Dead Sea are dominated by normal, step faults which are exposed up to 2 km east of the morphological escarpment of the basin. The rate of subsidence accommodated by these normal faults is estimated to be about 0.85 mm/y. The distribution of the faults suggests that Holocene fault activity was most intense in the northwestern corner of the Dead Sea. North of the lake, left-lateral slip along the Jordan fault produced both local compression and extension. Small reverse faults and folds exposed along this fault indicate a minimum left-lateral slip rate of 0.7 mm/y.