Late Holocene events that shaped the shoreline at the northern Gulf of Aqaba recorded by a buried fossil reef

Yonathan Shaked, Boaz Lazar, Shmuel Marco, Mordechai Stein, Amotz Agnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Examination of fossil reefs in 3-D reveals a series of tectonic, climatic, and biological processes in the northwestern corner of the Gulf of Elat-Aqaba (GEA). We excavated a reef buried beneath clastic beach sediments, examined its morphology, and collected coral samples in situ. The reef is preserved in pristine condition due to the sedimentary cover and its position below the sea level. Coastal geomorphology and sediments are combined with evidence from the buried reef to describe the late Holocene evolution of this stretch of the coast that is shaped by activity of the Dead Sea Transform system. Radiocarbon and uranium series ages of coral samples from the reef set the temporal framework for events. At least two down-faulting events are inferred from the buried reef, at ∼4.7 ka and ∼2.4 ka. Following the second event the reef was completely buried and fossilized, and the shoreline propagated 100 m eastwards into the sea. Hence the present shoreline was shaped by recurrent tectonic displacements followed by redistribution of sediments along the coast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-368
Number of pages14
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume58
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009

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