Pliocene or Pleistocene, That Is the Question – New Constraints from the Eastern Mediterranean

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Plio-Pleistocene Levant basin and margins experienced tectonic, sedimentary and climatic variations: e.g., uplift and folding of the margins, Sahara became arid and North Africa drainage narrowed to the Nile River. Salt tectonics deformed the basin’s Plio-Pleistocene succession and mass movements developed across its margins. A new division between Pliocene and Pleistocene sequences is proposed here. The boundary was mapped across the basin and margins based on marine seismic reflection and boreholes. Sediments aggraded across the basin and margins in the Pliocene. This shifted in the Pleistocene to progradation and later, degradation and the deep basin became sediment starved, fed mostly by turbidites. We ascribe this shift to (1) decreased sediment supply from Sahara, and (2) introduction of sediment influx from the Nile. This stratigraphic division suggests that incipient collision of Eratosthenes with the Cyprus arc initially triggered salt tectonics. It continued thereafter as NNE drift in the basin while extensional faulting and slope failures developed along the Levant margin.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuaternary of the Levant: Environments, Climate Change, and Humans
EditorsOfer Bar-Yosef, Yehouda Enzel
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781107090460
StatePublished - 2017


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