Tectonic-Geophysical Mapping of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean: Implications for Hydrocarbon Prospecting

Lev Eppelbaum, Youri Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The eastern Mediterranean is a tectonically complex region evolving in the long term located in the midst of the progressive Afro-Eurasian collision. Despite years of investigation, its geological-geophysical structure is not completely known. At the same time, the recent discovery of large gas deposits has attracted the attention of many researchers to this region. For instance, the latest U. S. Geological Survey estimates using conventional assessment methodology suggest that there are on the order of 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and more than 4 trillion m3 of recoverable gas in the Levant Basin [1]. This highlights the need for analysis of the paleogeographical conditions that can yield deep paleotectonic criteria for oil and gas discovery in this region. For this purpose, isopach maps of the Middle-Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous were generated from detailed examinations of numerous well sections and the most significant outcroppings in the eastern Mediterranean. The maps confirm an earlier model of continental accretion [2]. In particular, abrupt changes in the trend and thickness of the Early Mesozoic formations coincide with the terrane boundaries. These compiled isopach maps also pinpoint significant distinctions between the Arabian and Sinai plates on the one hand and the Syrian arc on the other. A new tectonic map of the eastern Mediterranean is presented that first of all integrates geophysical satellite-derived gravity and airborne magnetic fields, as well as tectonic-structural, paleogeographical and facial analyses. The results have clear implications for hydrocarbon prospecting in this region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-54
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • Satellite Gravity
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Isopach Maps
  • Hydrocarbon Potential
  • Airborne Magnetics


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