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Abstract

We associate a brittle tectonic analysis and a stratigraphic study of the NW Arabian platform in Syria in the northern Coastal Range, Lattakia basin, and Baer-Bassit areas. These complementary approaches allowed characterizing the tectonic and palaeostress evolutions of this region since the Late Cretaceous. In Mesozoic and Palaeogene, before the Arabia–Eurasia collision, essentially developed extensional tectonics. A major extensional phase, characterized by a NE–SW directed extension, was recognized during the Senonian. It is associated with the activity of the Euphrates graben. The Eocene–Oligocene period is marked by a north–south directed extension associated with minor east–west trending normal faults, associated with syn-depositional structures. The compressional deformation initiated at the end of Oligocene north of Baer-Bassit. The major phase of shortening is Early Miocene in age in NW Syria. The related brittle structures and folding were resulted from a 110°–135° oriented compression. During this event, the Baer-Bassit is thrusted over the Coastal Range platform along the SE vergent Lattakia thrust. This major thrusting induced the flexure of the Arabian platform and the formation of the Middle to Late Miocene Lattakia basin. From the end of the Miocene, and until Present, the region experienced a NNW–SSE directed regional compression. We also evidenced an east–west trending compression near the Dead Sea Fault (DSF) area, coeval with the NNW–SSE one, associated with the north–south folding of the Coastal Range. It likely corresponds to a stress-field deflection in relationship with the DSF activity. From latermost Miocene to Present, the left-lateral displacement along the northern segment of the DSF can be estimated to 30–40 km, from the offset of the Early Miocene deformation front.

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