Early holocene and late pleistocene slip rates of the southern dead sea fault determined from 10Be cosmogenic dating of offset alluvial deposits

Maryline Le Béon, Yann Klinger, Mahmoud Al-Qaryouti, Anne Sophie Mériaux, Robert C. Finkel, Ata Elias, Omar Mayyas, Frederick J. Ryerson, Paul Tapponnier

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Abstract

Two sites located along the Wadi Araba Fault (WAF) segment of the Dead Sea Fault are targeted for tectonic-morphological analysis. 10Be cosmogenic radionuclide (CRN) dating of embedded cobbles is used to constrain the age of offset alluvial surfaces. At the first site a 48 7 m offset alluvial fan, for which 10Be CRN model ages average 11.1 4.3 ka, yield a slip rate of 5.4 2.7 mm/a, with conservative bounds of 1.3-16.4 mm/a. At the second site the scattered distributions of the 10Be CRN ages from an offset bajada attest to the complex processes involved in sediment transport and emplacement. There, two offsets were identified. The 160 8 m offset of an incised alluvial fan dated at 37 5 ka shows a slip rate of 4.5 0.9 mm/a, with a conservative minimum value of 3.2 mm/a. A larger offset, 626 37 m, is derived from a prominent channel incised into the bajada. Cobbles from the bajada surface have ages from 33 to 141 ka, with a mean of 87 26 ka. A slip rate of 8.1 2.9 mm/a is derived from the mean age, with conservative bounds of 3.8-22.1 mm/a. These results and other published slip rates along the linear WAF segment, from GPS to geological time scales, lack the resolution to fully resolve the question of temporal variations versus consistency of the fault slip rate of the WAF. Yet, given the uncertainties, they are not inconsistent with each other.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberB11414
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume115
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2010

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