Rotem Mammals and Yeroham Crassostreids: Stratigraphy of the Hazeva Formation (Israel) and the Paleogeography of Miocene Africa

Naomi F. Goldsmith, Francis Hirsch, Gerald M. Friedman, Eitan Tchernov, Baruch Derin, Ephraim Gerry, Aharon Horowitz, Gabriel Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The continental Hazeva Formation in the Negev of Israel consists of sediments originating in transJordan and corresponds roughly to the Miocene Age. The radiometric base is the Ashosh plug at 20.7 Ma; the terminus is the Pliocene opening of the Dead Sea Rift, dated 2.7 Ma at En Yahav. The Hazeva Formation is contemporaneous with the Globorotalia fohsi hiatus dated ∼ 15-11 Ma, a volcanic intercalation at 11 Ma, the Proboscidian and Hipparion closures of the Tethys and, speculatively, the rotation of Africa ∼ 12-10 Ma. The sands and fluviatile conglomerates of Hazeva Formation in Yeroham and Rotem Basins are dated 17.5-17 Ma by a vertebrate (Burdigalian) fauna. In Yeroham Basin ostracods and an oyster bank that overlie the vertebrates belong to the brackish facies of a marine gulf of the Fohsi-zoned Tethys Sea. Balanids, echinoids, bryozoans and beach rock indicate marine oscillations, but the absence of Borelis melo suggests that the oyster bank antecedes the Ziqlag gulf of the Tortonian Mediterranean Sea. Mammals appear in the Negev during a humid, subtropical interval in the late Early Miocene when arboreal and grassy vegetation predominate and desert pollen drops below 50%. Earliest carnivores coexist with coursing, brachyodont artiodactyls. Affinities of the Negev mammals with fauna from Al-Sarrar, Rusinga and Gebel Zelten support the Early Miocene paleogeographical reconstruction of Cogley-Termier: land connects the Negev to East Africa but an epicontinental gulf separates the Negev from the Sirtean Plain of North Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-90
Number of pages18
JournalNewsletters on Stratigraphy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1988


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