Faulting patterns in the Lower Yarmouk Gorge potentially influence groundwater flow paths

Nimrod Inbar, Eliahu Rosenthal, Fabien Magri, Marwan Alraggad, Peter Möller, Akiva Flexer, Joseph Guttman, Christian Siebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recent studies investigating groundwater parameters, e.g., heads, chemical composition, and heat transfer, argued that groundwater flow paths in the Lower Yarmouk Gorge (LYG) area are controlled by geological features such as faults or dikes. However, the nature of such features, as well as their exact locations, were so far unknown. In the present paper, we propose a new fault pattern in the LYG area by compiling and revising geological and geophysical data from the study area, including borehole information, geological map cross sections, and seismic data from the southern Golan Heights and northern Ajloun mountains. The presented pattern is composed of strike-slip and thrust faults, which are associated with the Dead Sea transform system and with the Kinnarot pull-Apart basin. Compressional and tensional structures developed in different places, forming a series of fault blocks probably causing a non-uniform spatial hydraulic connection between them. This study provides a coarse fault-block model and improved structural constraints that serve as fundamental input for future hydrogeological modeling which is a suggested solution for an enigmatic hydrological situation concerning three riparian states (Syria, Jordan, and Israel) in a water-scarce region. In areas of water scarcity and transboundary water resources, transient 3-D flow simulations of the resource are the most appropriate solution to understand reservoir behavior. This is an important tool for the development of management strategies. However, those models must be based on realistic geometry, including structural features. The study at the LYG is intended to show the importance of such kinds of structural investigations for providing the necessary database in geologically stressed areas without sufficient data. Furthermore, during the hydrogeological investigation, a mismatch with results of pull-Apart basin rim fault evolution studies was discovered. We argue that this mismatch may result from the settings at the eastern rim of the basin as the en-echelon changes from pull-Apart basins (Dead Sea, Kinnarot, Hula) to a push-up ridge (Hermon).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-771
Number of pages9
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 11 Feb 2019


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