Review of the northern Arava late Cenozoic stratigraphy

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Abstract

Three different tectono-sedimentary stages are discerned for the development of the northern Arava. (1) The Embryonic, north-south oriented synclinal subsidence commenced in the Oligocene, during which the Mediterranean invaded the region, causing deposition of the lowermost Dana Formation clastics, followed by regression and erosion, after which the middle Miocene transgression invoked sedimentation of the Hazeva-Dana main clastic body. (2) The second, Eritrean faulting stage, of a predominantly NW bearing, is expressed in two phases: the initial phase, which caused deposition of the Hufeira and uppermost Dana formations clastics in a trough, accompanied by severe erosion of the surrounding areas and the subsequent, early Pliocene phase of Eritrean faulting, which hardly affected the Arava structurally. The area was for a short while inundated by the sea, laying down the Mazzar carbonates, but most of the time by a river system, depositing the Arava Formation. The Eritrean stage was terminated at the earliest Quaternary, with sedimentation of the Melekh Sedom Sands. Ar Risha, and HaMeshar gravels in a complex fluvio-lacustrine system. During these first two stages the northern Arava was continuously connected to the Mediterranean, in different paths. (3) The third, north-south aligned Levantine stage, formed the southern Dead Sea endoreic basin north of the Arava. Alternating wet and dry Quaternary climates invoked lake expansions and contractions, causing flooding and then erosion of the northern Arava, which left a series of terraces and, for the younger phases, also lake sediments. These are occasionally intercalated by spring deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-158
Number of pages22
JournalIsrael Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume50
Issue number2-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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