Origin of red clay layers interbedded with basalts of the Golan Heights

Arieh Singer*, Eyal Ben-Dor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Red clay layers interbedded with basalt flows of Pleistocene age in the Golan Heights have been described and sampled for analyses. Data for these layers have been compared with those for modern soils of the locality. Because the layers have pedogenic features and most also contain quartz of assumed aeolian origin, they are considered to by paleosols even though they are low in organic matter. Smectite is the dominant clay mineral in the paleosols, as it is in modern soils of the area. At the same time, minerals characteristic of hydrothermal activities are absent. Low proportions of kaolinite as compared to those of modern soils are attributed to weathering under a drier climate in the Middle Pleistocene (approximately 0.7-1.6 m.y. B.P.) than that of the present. The paleosols are dense, have strong columnar structure and have well expressed mangans. These features, as well as the dehydration of iron oxides, are attributed to contacts with molten rock that become the basalt flows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-306
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1987
Externally publishedYes


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