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Quaternary Stratigraphy and Paleogeography of the Galilee Coastal Plain, Israel

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Dorit Sivan
Department of Maritime Civilizations, Haifa University, Haifa, 31905, Israel
Gedaliahu Gvirtzman
Department of Geography, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel
Eytan Sass
Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 91904, Israel


The Quaternary deposits in the Galilee coastal plain comprise alternating calcareous sandstone, red loam, dark clay, and uncemented sand. The calcareous sandstone in the lower part of the sequence represents a Pliocene to early Pleistocene marine transgression, and is covered unconformably by the late Quaternary sequence. The base of this sequence has an estimated age of ∼500,000 yr. It is covered unconformably by marine calcareous sandstone in the west, which represents the global high sea-level stand of isotope stage 7.1, and is known as one of the “Tyrrhenian” events in the Mediterranean area. The overlying members represent the low sea-level stand of stage 6, the first a red paleosol indicating a relatively wet phase and the second an eolianite unit representing a drier phase. The eolianite forms longitudinal, subparallel ridges that formed contemporaneously. The overlying marine sandstone, which contains one of the diagnostic fossils of the “Tyrrhenian” events, the gastropodStrombus buboniusLMK, accumulated during the global high stand of stage 5.5. The last glacial period left no sedimentary record. The Holocene is represented by a marine clay unit that is covered by sand. The present study establishes a complete and detailed chronostratigraphic sequence for an eastern Mediterranean beach, which contains the gastropodS. buboniusLMK.S. buboniuson the Galilee coast is attributed to stage 5.5 and therefore, establishes an east–west Mediterranean correlation, which can be used for linking Mediterranean events to paleo-sea levels and global climate changes.

Original Articles
University of Washington

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