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Brew, G., Lupa, J., Barazangi, M., Sawaf, T., Al-Imam, A., and Zaza, T.

Structure and tectonic development of the Ghab Basin and the Dead Sea Fault System, Syria

Journal of the Geological Society, 158, 665-674, 2001.


We examine the structure and evolution of the Ghab basin that formed on the active, yet poorly understood, northern segment of the Dead Sea transform fault system. The basin formed in the Plio-Quaternary time at a complex step-over zone on the fault. Subsidence occurred along cross-basin and transform-parallel faults in two asymmetric depocentres. The larger depocentre in the south of the basin is asymmetric towards the east, the margin along which most active transform displacement apparently occurs. The Syrian Coastal Ranges, located directly west of the Ghab basin, are a consequence of Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic regional compression, heavily modified by the Dead Sea fault system and Ghab basin formation. We prefer a model whereby the Dead Sea fault system in northwest Syria developed in Plio-Quaternary time, consistent with previously proposed models of two-phase Dead Sea fault system movement and Red Sea spreading.

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Copyright Statement

This material has been published in The Journal of the Geological Society of London, Volume 158, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by The Geological Society of London.

Copyright © 2001 The Geological Society of London

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Key Figures and Captions

Figure 5. Perspective view from the NW of the Ghab basin, looking to the SE. See Fig. 1 for location. The top layer represents the topography surrounding the Ghab basin. The middle layer is a representation of the base of Ghab basin sedimentary fill; the slightly angular appearance is a consequence of the gridding process. The lowermost layer shows Bouguer gravity contours. Contour interval is 2 mGal, bolder lines ever 10 mGal.

Figure 7. Highly schematic, vertically exaggerated, three-dimensional representation of the Ghab basin. Large arrows show approximate relative movements; the Coastal Ranges block is depicted uplifting, possibly through rotation, while translating southwards.

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