Plate Tectonics Theory In Israel

Geology of Israel

The plate tectonics theory in Israel has a very good example in Israel. In fact, Israel is the meeting point of two tectonic plates. Plate Tectonics Theory is a geological theory that explains the movements occurring on the lithosphere. The theory has taken the place of Continental Drift Theory from the first half of the 20th century; and is based on its foundations. That is to say, the movement of tectonic plates originates from the expansion of the ocean floor. The tectonic plates are vast surfaces by size; extending beneath continents and oceans.

There are nine major tectonic plates (and a large number of sub-plates); these plates move very slowly (between half an inch and eight inches per year). During the geological ages; this movement accumulates and causes the migration of continents. According to the accepted scientific theory that supports the plate tectonic approach, millions of years ago (before the Earth’s crust was broken into plates) there was one huge continent called Pangea, and one ocean called Panthalassa. 

Plate Tectonics Theory In Israel

The Levantine Tectonic Plate or the Israel and Sinai sub-tectonic plate is part of the African plate. And is connected to it by a narrow strip in the north of the Suez Canal. To the east, the Levantine plate borders the Arabian plate along the northern part of the Syrian-African Rift: the Gulf of Eilat; the Arava, and the Jordan Valley. Firstly, the two plates – the Arabian and the Levantine – were part of the African plate. In the first phase, the Arabian plate moved north and almost completely disengaged from the African plate when the Eritrean rift occurred. While its western part – the Levantine Plate- remaining partially connected to the African board. This breaking caused the Red Sea to open in the south end of the Arabian plate.

In the second stage, the Levantine rift occurred along with the Syrian-African Rift; causing the Levantine plate to be separated from the Arabian plate and the opening of the Gulf of Eilat on the southern border between the two plates. Now, this boundary is prone to earthquakes due to a faster movement north of the Arabian plate relative to the Levantine plate. In fact, the three boards are all moving north, but the Arabian plate is moving faster. Moreover, its rate of movement today relative to the Levantine slab is about an inch a year. For this reason, the calculation shows that in a few million years; on the eastern border of the Land of Israel an ocean will form.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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