New evidence for horizontal movement along the Jordan Rift.

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The Jordan Rift makes the N segment of the E African-Red Sea-Syrian Rift system in which the opening of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea is continuing here as a transcurrent movement. For other geologists, the Jordan Rift is a graben made by vertical tectonics which have been operating on this Rift since the Precambrian times. Their evidence is based on: 1) the distribution and abundance of dykes in the basement, 2) the distribution of Precambrian sediments, and 3) the thickness and distribution of the Lower Cambrian Basal conglomerates. Careful field examination of these evidences showed that they are not well founded. Thus, casting more doubt on the weakened graben tectonic hypothesis. -Author

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... This correlation supports the existence of a left lateral strike slip fault extending about 105 km along the Jordan Rift Valley (Quennell 1958;Freunds et al., 1970;Bender, 1974;Druckman et al., 1975;Druckman et al., 1982;Abed, 1985;Cohen et al., 1990). The lithological and structural style similarities of the Al Mamalih structures (Powell and Khalil, 1993) with similar Permo-Triassic and Triassic rocks in the Sinai-Central Naqab area, located 105 km to the southwest of the Dead Sea, support a left-lateral shear of about 105 km along the Dead Sea-Gulf of Aqaba Rift during Tertiary times. ...
The Triassic (Anisian) Mukheiris Formation is exposed along the northeastern margins of the Dead Sea area, and encompasses all those sediments preserved between the Triassic Hisban and Iraq al Amir formations. It attains a thickness of at least 108m, and comprises two subdivisions defined here: a lower tidal unit and an upper fluvial unit. The presence of fossiliferous limestones and marlstones in the lower member, and the presence of thin, rhythmic tidal bedding, flaser bedding and oscillation ripple marks suggests deposition in a tidally influenced shallow water, marine environment. The erosively based, fining-upward cycles of non-fossiliferous, unidirectional cross-bedded quartz arenites, and paucity of siltstones and mudstones in the lower part of the fluvial unit indicate that deposition occurred within a braided mixed load fluvial system. The increased proportion of fines ratio in the upper part suggests a change to a more meandering fluvial system. The spatial and temporal arrangement of tidal/fluvial facies during Mukheiris times may be related to fluctuations of the Tethyan strandline due to fluctuations in relative sea level and the development of alternating transgressive and regressive events.
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