A seismic interpretation of the bet she'an basin

Miki Meiler*, Haim Shulman, Akiva Flexer, Moshe Reshef, Anat Yellin-Dror

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Bet She'an basin is a deep morphotectonic depression situated in between the north-eastern edge of the Samaria Mountains and the Dead Sea fault system, northern Israel. Twenty seismic profiles that cover the entire basin have been analyzed in the depth-domain. Their interpretation, accompanied by the gravity anomalies analysis, reveals new information on the basin's subsurface geology, its key structural features, and principal stratigraphic setting.The revealed subsurface structure of the basin consists of several well-defined complexes: (1) The northern extension of the Faria anticline, which is plunging towards the Bet She'an Valley and is buried there under more than 1300 m of Neogene and Quaternary sedimentary sequence. The subsurface structure of the anticline is analogous to the Faria range exposed to the south of the study area, i.e., it is dissected by several NW-trending large faults, dividing it into a series of uplifted and downthrown blocks. Three of these blocks, referred to here as Rehov horst, Rehov graben, and Malkoah horst, have been identified and mapped in detail. (2) Harod graben, detected at the northern part of the basin, has been identified as the structural low of the morphologically descended Harod Valley. (3) A widespread sedimentary basin, mapped at the northern part of the study area, has been identified as the southern continuation of a prolonged Kinnarot-Bet She'an basin (KBSB). The calculated average subsidence rate of 0.2 mm y-1 is slightly smaller than the rate estimated at the northern parts of the KBSB. (4) A thick, dome-shaped sequence of young sediments has been detected at the easternmost part of the study area, leaning on the N-S-directed faults. This structure could be an indication of a salt body buried at shallow depths of ~200 m below the surface.Several pronounced fault planes have been identified and mapped. Their subsurface orientation is similar to the three groups of faults exposed on the surface and documented in previous literature. The faults are concentrated in two distinct regions: (1) The Western fault zone appears along the foot of Mt. Gilboa and comprises a subsurface continuation of the Gilboa slopes faults. (2) The Eastern fault zone underlies the exposed Bet She'an fault and comprises a part of the Jordan Rift Valley marginal fault belt.No indications for a N-S lateral subsurface displacement have been observed within the study area. This raises uncertainties regarding the existence of a pull-apart basin at the southern part of the KBSB.Based on the seismic interpretation and the gravity data analysis, a comprehensive 3D geological model of the Bet She'an basin has been constructed utilizing GIS technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


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