The morphotectonic pattern of Lake Kinneret

Shmuel Belitzky*, Zvi Ben-Avraham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) occupies a small depocenter in the northern part of the Kinnarot structural basin. Morphotectonic analysis of bathymetric data from the Sea of Galilee shows an intricate pattern of morphological disturbances and anomalies, most of them indicating active fault traces. Analysis of morpholineaments derived from the bathymetric map provides a three-dimensional picture of the Lake Kinneret basin that is substantially different from that predicted by existing models. Active deformation of the Kinneret composite basin integrates motions across N-S faults of the Dead Sea Fault system, and NW-trending normal faults of the Eastern Galilee fault system. There is no single N-S-oriented boundary fault in the western part of the Kinneret basin. Active NW-trending normal faults of the Eastern Galilee system separate the northern and the southern parts of the basin in the west. The E-W fault system, presumably an extension of that separating the Upper and the Lower Galilee, forms the northern boundary of the lake basin and has a minimal vertical offset of 4.5 km. The E-W fault system produces a lateral offset of the traces of the Dead Sea Fault, the segments of which probably merge at depths greater than 4.5 km. The ongoing deformations of the lake floor reflect the current stress field induced by the movements along the Dead Sea Fault, including processes of N-S extension of the Galilee.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2004


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