Structure and tectonic development of the kinneret basin

Zvi Ben-avraham, Michal Rosenthal, Gideon Tibor, Hila Navon, Hillel Wust-Bloch, Rami Hofstetter, Michael Rybakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake in northern Israel, occupying a part of the Lake Kinneret basin along the Dead Sea fault. The basin is located in an area of tectonic complexity, where the main north–south trending segments of the Dead Sea fault intersect with a secondary system of northwest–southeast and east–west trending faults in the Galilee. Plio–Pleistocene basalt flows and intrusions varying in thickness are present around the lake. This tectonic setting produced the complicated sub-bottom structure of the basin. Numerous studies have dealt with this issue using various methods: seismic reflection and refraction, heat flow, bathymetry, magnetics, gravity, and seismicity. This chapter summarizes the findings of the previous and recent studies of the sub-bottom and floor of the lake. The Lake Kinneret basin is composed of two subbasins. The northern subbasin is the most tectonically active zone in the lake and forms the deepest bathymetric part of it. The southern subbasin is the deepest part of the basin, filled with 5–8 km of sediments. Both longitudinal boundary faults and transverse faults are present in the lake; however, their accurate geometry is in dispute. Structural evolution of thebasin is associated with several tectonic processes. The interaction between the two fault systems may have caused rotational opening and transverse normal faulting that formed the northern subbasin. Strike–slip motion along the main segments of the Dead Sea fault is probably responsible for the pull-apart opening of the southern subbasin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalAquatic Ecology
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.


  • Active faults
  • Bathymetry
  • Dead Sea fault
  • Gravity
  • Magnetic
  • Seismic reflection
  • Seismic refraction
  • Volcanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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