The Dead Sea fault system is a north-south striking left-lateral shear zone separating the African and Arabian tectonic plates. The southern part of the plate boundary is located within the Dead Sea valley. The valley, much of it below sea level, is surrounded by highlands on both sides, and contains subsurface sedimentary basins, including the large (~150 km long) a deep (6-8 km) Dead Sea basin. A wide-angle seismic reflection and refraction experiment was carried out in the Dead Sea Region in October 2004 to study the deep structure of the plate boundary. The experiment consisted of two perpendicular profiles a 280-km long profile along the valley and the international border between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and a 250 km long profile from Gaza strip to eastern Jordan across the Dead Sea basin. Modeling of the West-East line shows a low velocity zone extending to a depth of 18 km below the basin, which includes >6 km of "syn-rift" sediments (ten Brink et al., GRL, 2006). The lower crust and Moho are not perturbed. The uplift surrounding the Dead Sea Transform also appears to be an upper crustal phenomenon. The shear deformation, associated with the transform plate boundary motion appears, on the other hand, to cut throughout the entire crust (Ibid.). Two-dimensional modeling of the South-North line is more complex due to the fact that sedimentary basins do not occupy the entire width of the valley hence some sources and some receivers are located within the basins whereas others are located outside. This heterogeneous near-surface structure explains why a simple 2-D velocity model does not fit the observed travel times from all shots. Therefore, we are using 3-D travel-time tomography to model the heterogeneous near-surface and deeper structure of the Dead Sea. Preliminary models indicate that some ray-paths from sources near the basin use the edges of the basin as a wave-guide and generate earlier than expected arrivals at receivers near the shot. We find seismic confirmation of sub-basins along the Dead Sea Transform that have been identified using gravity and aeromagnetic surveying (ten Brink, et al., G-cubed, 2007, ten Brink, et al., Geology, 1999), and will present a preliminary model for variations in the crustal structure.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 7205 Continental crust (1219);
- 8100 TECTONOPHYSICS;
- 8106 Continental margins: transform;
- 8180 Tomography (6982;