Late Tertiary faulting along the coastal plain of Israel

Josh Steinberg*, Z. Gvirtzman, H. Gvirtzman, Y. Ben-Gai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study documents a 70-km long and 200-400 m high step at the base of the Pliocene section in the Israeli coastal plain. Depositional explanations for this lineament, such as a buried shelf edge or reef front, are very unlikely; whereas a fault scarp explanation is supported by seismic profiles and geological cross sections. The eastern elevated side of the fault was eroded before its burial, though a quantitive distinction between this erosion, earlier truncations, and original hiatuses, is not possible at this stage. Sediments covering the fault scarp constrain its age to Late Miocene and/or Early Pliocene. The presence of such a fault along the Israeli coastal plain may also shed light on numerous post-Mid-Cretaceous faults previously documented along the coastal plain, but never explained. In a wider perspective, the fault described here along with other documented processes indicate that in the Late Tertiary tectonism along the Levant continental margin resumed after a long passive history. This renewed activity is coeval with the Africa-Arabian breakup and the Red Sea- Suez rifting. In particular, the fault described here is coeval with plate reorganization and vertical motions along the Dead Sea transform and possibly along the Cypriot Arc during the Late Miocene-Early Pliocene.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberTC4014
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008


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