Quaternary stratigraphy and paleogeography of the Galilee coastal plain, Israel

Dorit Sivan, Gedaliahu Gvirtzman, Eytan Sass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Quaternary deposits in the Galilee coastal plain comprise alternating calcareous sandstone, red loam, dark clay, and uncemented sand. The calcareous sandstone in the lower part of the sequence represents a Pliocene to early Pleistocene marine transgression, and is covered unconformably by the late Quaternary sequence. The base of this sequence has an estimated age of ~500,000 yr. It is covered unconformably by marine calcareous sandstone in the west, which represents the global high sea-level stand of isotope stage 7.1, and is known as one of the 'Tyrrhenian' events in the Mediterranean area. The overlying members represent the low sea-level stand of stage 6, the first a red paleosol indicating a relatively wet phase and the second an eolianite unit representing a drier phase. The eolianite forms longitudinal, sub-parallel ridges that formed contemporaneously. The overlying marine sandstone, which contains one of the diagnostic fossils of the 'Tyrrhenian' events, the gastropod Strombus bubonius LMK, accumulated during the global high stand of stage 5.5. The last glacial period left no sedimentary record. The Holocene is represented by a marine clay unit that is covered by sand. The present study establishes a complete and detailed chronostratigraphic sequence for an eastern Mediterranean beach, which contains the gastropod S. bubonius LMK. S. bubonius on the Galilee coast is attributed to stage 5.5 and, therefore, establishes an east-west Mediterranean correlation, which can be used for linking Mediterranean events to paleo-sea levels and global climate changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-294
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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