The Effect of the Palmyra Trough and Mesozoic Structures on the Levant Margin and on the Evolution of the Levant Restraining Bend

  • Ramadan GhalayiniEmail author
  • Jean-Marc Daniel
  • Catherine Homberg
  • Fadi Henri Nader
  • Romain Darnault
  • Jean-Marie Mengus
  • Eric Barrier
Part of the Frontiers in Earth Sciences book series (FRONTIERS)


The central Levant margin is characterised today by a restraining bend, part of the Levant Fracture System (LFS) delineating the north-western boundary of the Arabian Plate. This area has been affected throughout geological times by several tectonic events, resulting, in particular, in deep crustal faults oriented oblique to the main NNE trending sinistral strike-slip plate boundary. These faults, together with other structures along the Levant margin, are similar to those found eastward in the Palmyra Basin. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the Palmyra Basin extends westward to the Levant margin through sandbox analogue modelling. We examined the role of pre-existing oblique structures, believed to be part of the Palmyra Basin, on the development of the Levant restraining bend. Results indicated a similarity between the model and the natural example asserting the effect of the pre-existing structures on the growth of the restraining bend. Consequently, the pre-existing structures, which are believed to be part of the Palmyra basin structural system, attest that the latter extends westward to the Levant margin forming its westward termination. The evolution and propagation of the LFS were thus impacted by the presence of the Palmyra Basin and the resulting crustal thickness variations, bending the LFS and creating three different segments along its path.


Levant Fracture System Palmyra Basin Mount Lebanon Analogue modelling 



The authors would like to acknowledge TOTAL, IFPEN, and UPMC, for funding this project. The Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and the Lebanese Petroleum Administration are thanked for their support. Marie-Claude Lynch is greatly acknowledged for her help scanning the models. Editor Francois Roure, Bernard Colletta and an anonymous reviewer are greatly acknowledged for their detailed and constructive reviews, which helped focus the manuscript.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramadan Ghalayini
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jean-Marc Daniel
    • 3
  • Catherine Homberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fadi Henri Nader
    • 3
  • Romain Darnault
    • 3
  • Jean-Marie Mengus
    • 3
  • Eric Barrier
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7193, ISTePParisFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, UMR 7193, ISTePParisFrance
  3. 3.GeosciencesIFPENRueil-Malmaison CedexFrance

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