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Abstract

A study carried out on widespread sites of the Aptian–Albian formations in Lebanon led to two palaeomagnetic directions corresponding to the primary magnetization (N=37 sites, D=307.1°, I=23.7°, k=18 and α95=5.5° after tilt correction and to a post-folding remagnetization (N=18 sites, D=346.3°, I=49.2°, k=108 and α95=3.2° before tilt correction). Comparison of these data with previous palaeomagnetic results for the Jurassic age in Lebanon and expected directions from African apparent polar wander path yields evidence of three different counter-clockwise regional rotations, of the order of 33° before Aptian deposition, of 11° during Late Miocene times, and of 18° since Miocene period. The two last rotations are related to the relative displacement of the African and Arabian plates. A model is proposed for the evolution of this particular Middle East area, in which the Dead Sea Transform shows a strong deviation relative to its main north–south orientation.

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