Short-lived early Cenomanian volcanic atolls of Mt. Carmel, northern Israel

Or M. Bialik, Elias Samankassou, Aaron Meilijson, Nicolas D. Waldmann, Josh Steinberg, Kul Karcz, Yizhaq Makovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Volcanic atolls host exceptionally important marine ecosystems in the modern oceans. Yet, due to limited exposures, fossil atolls are poorly constrained. Multiple drowned Cretaceous volcanic atolls have been reported in the Pacific, but less information exists regarding those in the Tethys. Here we report on two early Cenomanian age volcanic atolls outcropping in Mt. Carmel (northern Israel), along the eastern Levant margin. These atolls are a few kilometers in diameter and differ significantly in facies from their surroundings, which are dominated by chalky calcareous mudstone and wackestone. The atolls are composed of grainstone, floatstone, rudstone and bafflestone facies, which are dominated by molluscans, notably gastropods, rudists, oysters and other bivalves. Corals and green algae are absent throughout these atolls. The studied sections of these atolls display a full succession, beginning with aggradation and ending with drowning. Age constraints for the volcanic phases suggest that deposition occurred within a relatively short time interval (<1 Myr) and the sequence represents a keep-up to give-up transition, within rising global and local sea-level trends. The inability of these atolls to keep up with rising sea level is attributed here to a suppressed carbonate factory, either due to drowning, turbidity and/or nutrient excess. Our study sheds new light on the dynamics of carbonate buildups during the Late Cretaceous and their ability to persist.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105805
JournalSedimentary Geology
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Atoll succession
  • Cretaceous
  • Drowning
  • Levant
  • Rudists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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