Geothermal investigations in the Dead Sea Rift Zone, Israel: Implications for petroleum geology

L. Eppelbaum*, M. Modelevsky, A. Pilchin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Thermal surveys of the Dead Sea - Arava Valley area have been conducted in order to investigate the present-day geothermal characteristics of the sedimentary cover. Horizontal geothermal gradients have been assessed, and heat-absorbing and heat-radiating intervals have been identified. The second temperature versus depth derivative is used as an index of the thermal state of the sedimentary cover. Average vertical gradients are low, and vary between 20° and 30°C/km. Horizontal geothermal gradients in the study area do not usually exceed 1° C/km, although they are higher within the major Dead Sea graben fault zone. Horizontal gradients may cause excess pressures, which influence the direction of fluid flow within the sedimentary cover. Basaltic intrusions may also cause the migration of overheated waters. Analytical methods based on those applied in magnetic prospecting are used for the quantitative interpretation of temperature anomalies, and these methods may contribute to the location of faults and salt domes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-444
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Petroleum Geology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


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