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Magnetic character of a large continental transform: an aeromagnetic survey of the Dead Sea Fault

January 1, 2007

New high-resolution airborne magnetic (HRAM) data along a 120-km-long section of the Dead Sea Transform in southern Jordan and Israel shed light on the shallow structure of the fault zone and on the kinematics of the plate boundary. Despite infrequent seismic activity and only intermittent surface exposure, the fault is delineated clearly on a map of the first vertical derivative of the magnetic intensity, indicating that the source of the magnetic anomaly is shallow. The fault is manifested by a 10–20 nT negative anomaly in areas where the fault cuts through magnetic basement and by a <5 nT positive anomaly in other areas. Modeling suggests that the shallow fault is several hundred meters wide, in agreement with other geophysical and geological observations. A magnetic expression is observed only along the active trace of the fault and may reflect alteration of magnetic minerals due to fault zone processes or groundwater flow. The general lack of surface expression of the fault may reflect the absence of surface rupture during earthquakes. The magnetic data also indicate that unlike the San Andreas Fault, the location of this part of the plate boundary was stable throughout its history. Magnetic anomalies also support a total left-lateral offset of 105–110 km along the plate boundary, as suggested by others. Finally, despite previous suggestions of transtensional motion along the Dead Sea Transform, we did not identify any igneous intrusions related to the activity of this fault segment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2007
Title Magnetic character of a large continental transform: an aeromagnetic survey of the Dead Sea Fault
DOI 10.1029/2007GC001582
Authors Uri S. ten Brink, Michael Rybakov, Abdallah S. Al-Zoubi, Yair Rotstein
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Index ID 70121119
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program; Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center