The style of transverse faulting in the Dead Sea basin from seismic reflection data: The Amazyahu fault

Avihu Ginzburg, Moshe Reshef, Zvi Ben-Avraham, Uri Schattner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The structure and development models of the southern basin of the Dead Sea were derived over the years from a number of exploration wells and seismic reflection data obtained during petroleum exploration activities in the past 25 years. The first model, derived in 1984, was based on the interpretation of seismic reflection data available at that time, all of which were in the time domain. The most striking feature on the main north-south-oriented profile was a curved fault that reached the surface and formed an escarpment. This fault, named "Amazyahu fault", was interpreted as a listric fault. Since then, all the following studies reinterpreted this fault as listric, forming variations of the original model. It has been shown elsewhere that the curvature of faults on seismic time sections may be artifacts formed by a strong vertical velocity gradient. Since such a gradient is present in the fill of the Dead Sea basin, we applied up-to-date pre-stack depth imaging to the latest version of this seismic section to test the reliability of the published models. The new processing shows that the curvature of the faults is indeed an artifact. Thus, the faults that form the northern and southern boundaries of the basin are in fact normal faults. These faults cut through the sedimentary section down to the crystalline basement, similar to the eastern and western boundary faults of the basin. Based on the new processing and interpretation of the seismic sections, an alternative development model is proposed for the southern basin of the Dead Sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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