Rifting-Driven Magmatism Along the Dead Sea Continental Transform Fault

A. Haddad, C. Chiarabba, M. Lazar, A. Mazzini, A. Polonia, L. Gasperini, M. Lupi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Dead Sea Fault (DSF) is a crustal-scale continental transform fault separating the African and the Arabian plates. Neogene to Quaternary volcanic activity is well-spread in Northern Israel. Yet, the origin of the magmas that fed the eruptions is still unpinned. Our local earthquake tomography depicts velocity distributions typical of rifting settings. At 9 km depth, a prominent high Vp/Vs anomaly marks the presence of cooling melts. We propose that protracted transtension along the DSF caused crustal thinning promoting the emplacement of magmatic bodies. Crustal emplacements of magmas in Northern Israel reconcile multiple observations, including the high geothermal gradient, the prominent magnetic anomalies and the traces of mantle-derived fluids in the springs across the Sea of Galilee. We provide a compelling evidence for rifting in segments of the DSF and identify the potential source of magmatism that fed part of the volcanic activity of the area.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GL099964
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023. The Authors.


  • Dead Sea Fault
  • magma
  • rifting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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