Abstract

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The Dead Sea problem relates to the origin of the profound trough. Is it an effect of tension in the earth's crust? or of compression? or of failure of support beneath the depressed strip? or of some combination of these conditions?

In attempting to answer this question the physiographic and structural facts observed in Palestine, Transjordania, and Syria, are presented and discussed, pro and con.

It is found that the late Tertiary and Pleistocene history of the region comprises three epochs, namely, an earlier epoch of folding indicative of moderate compression at shallow depth; an epoch of erosion to a landscape of advanced maturity, designated the Judean matureland; and a later epoch of compression in a much deeper horizon, which resulted in deep-seated shearing and upthrust. The actual features of relief have resulted from the later compression.

The Palestine and Transjordan plateau present arched surfaces or swells caused . . .

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