The Anthropogenic Affect—Humans and Geology: An Example from Tel Dor, Israel

Omry Nachum, Or Bialik, Uri Basson, Assaf Yasur-Landau, Michael Lazar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geology usually deals with rocks formed long ago, which are static and stable over the span of human lifetime. This study aims to analyze anthropogenic influence on the formation of geological features in the southeastern Mediterranean. Tel Dor, along Israel’s northern coast, was chosen due to the continuous presence of humans in the area for over 4000 years and the protective environment of its natural bays that preserve geomorphological changes. This allows for the examination of whether and how humans affect their (geological) environment. Three rocky platforms were chosen in the shallow waters of the South Bay adjacent to the Tel, and four cores were extracted. Results show the extent of the direct and indirect anthropological influences on the landscape. The presence of building stones consisting of dolomite, which is not found along the Carmel coast, is an example of direct influence (importation). The evolution of a biological and non-biological reef upon the sturdy base of the port constructions is an indirect influence. The formation of a non-biological reef upon an archaeological feature is a unique process. It would not have consolidated without the presence of anthropogenic activity. This study shows how human interference in the coastal area can trigger a chain reaction of geological processes lasting more than 2000 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number283
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • beachrock
  • coastal construction
  • geology and archaeology
  • geology and humans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


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