Drainage system reorganization and late Quaternary tectonic deformation along the southern Dead Sea Transform

Yedidia Gellman*, A. Matmon, Amit Mushkin, N. Porat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Dead Sea Transform (DST) accounts for 105 km of left-lateral slip between the Arabian plate and the Sinai subplate since the Miocene. Paleoseismic studies along the Arava Valley segment of the DST suggest that late Quaternary deformation has been primarily concentrated along the axis of the transform valley. Here, we examine late Quaternary changes in drainage system characteristics and attribute them to recent tectonic deformation in this region. Field-based geomorphic mapping, topographic cross sections, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of fluvial deposits were used to map and date recent changes in the fluvial characteristics of catchments along the western margin of the southern Arava. Our results reveal coeval migration of channels, consistent with tectonically induced surface tilting caused by north-south compressional deformation along the western margin of the transform valley. OSL dating indicates this tilting was initiated in the late Pleistocene and continued at least into the mid-Holocene. The late Quaternary tectonic deformation along the southern Arava segment of the DST is distributed across a wider zone than previously considered and extends out to the margins of the transform valley. We associate the inferred wider deformation zone to possible changes in the geometry of motion along the DST.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)380-393
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Keywords

  • Arava Valley
  • Dead Sea Transform
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • OSL dating
  • Tectonics

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