Late-Pleistocene evolution of the continental shelf of central Israel, a case study from Hadera

Gilad Shtienberg, Justin Dix, Nicolas Waldmann, Yizhaq Makovsky, Arik Golan, Dorit Sivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sea-level fluctuations are a dominant mechanism that control coastal environmental changes through time. This is especially the case for the successive regressions and transgressions over the last interglacial cycle, which have shaped the deposition, preservation and erosion patterns of unconsolidated sediments currently submerged on continental shelves. The current study focuses on creating an integrated marine and terrestrial geophysical and litho-stratigraphic framework of the coastal zone of Hadera, north-central Israel. This research presents a case study, investigating the changing sedimentological units in the study area. Analysis suggest these represent various coastal environments and were deposited during times of lower than present sea level and during the later stages of the Holocene transgression.A multi-disciplinary approach was applied by compiling existing elevation raster grids, bathymetric charts, one hundred lithological borehole data-sets, and a 110 km-long sub-bottom geophysical survey. Based on seismic stratigraphic analysis, observed geometries, and reflective appearances, six bounding surfaces and seven seismic units were identified and characterized. These seismic units have been correlated with the available borehole data to produce a chronologically constrained lithostratigraphy for the area. This approach allowed us to propose a relationship between the lithological units and sea-level change and thus enable the reconstruction of Hadera coastal evolution over the last ~. 100 ka. This reconstruction suggests that the stratigraphy is dominated by lowstand aeolian and fluvial terrestrial environments, subsequently transgressed during the Holocene. The results of this study provide a valuable framework for future national strategic shallow-water infrastructure construction and also for the possible locations of past human settlements in relation to coastal evolution through time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 15 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors like to thank the Ministry of National Infrastructure for funding the research (research grant no. 221-17-032 ) and also gratefully acknowledge support from the Sir Maurice and Lady Hatter Fund of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies (RIMS), University of Haifa. Nimer Taha and Or Bialik are both thanked for helping with the sedimentological analyses. Dina Dagan from ben Gurion University and, Joel Roskin, Silas Dean and Guy Sisma-Ventura from the University of Haifa are acknowledged for their help in the field. The authors would like to thank Paradigm, Schlumberger and IHS for granting academic licenses for Seismic processing software as well as Petrel and Kingdom Suite for Seismic Interpretation software. Improvements of earlier versions of the manuscript by anonymous reviewers and by Editor-in-Chief (Prof. Andrew James Plater) are truly appreciated.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.


  • Coastal and marine geology
  • Continental shelf
  • Israel
  • Late Pleistocene-Holocene sequence
  • Shallow geophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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