Barremian-Aptian sedimentary successions along the northern Arabian margin have been described as a transition from a siliciclastic to a carbonate-dominated marine environment, deposited upon a low-relief shelf or platform formed as a consequence of continuous regional subsidence. A long (360 m) core from northern Israel offers a unique look at this transition, providing valuable insights for the palaeoceanography, geometry and ventilation conditions that lead to Oceanic Anoxic Event 1 (OAE1) in this region. Results from high-resolution elemental, mineralogical, sedimentological and petrophysical analyses carried out revealed the emplacement of abundant mass-transport deposits (MTDs) during the Late Barremian and the Aptian. The transplanted units are characterized by fine grained calcareous shales with elevated organic matter, sulphur and iron contents. The scarcity or absence of bioturbation in the disturbed sequences provides a hint to the sediment/water interface conditions. However, a decrease in sulphur and iron occurring at the contact between the shales and the MTDs is explained as increased oxic conditions at the sediment-water interface as a result of turbulence and mixing associated with the descending sediment masses. Such recurrent events ventilation of the low-energy basinal environment during the Late Barremian and Aptian, predate the wide-scale establishment of OAE1 in the northern Arabian margin. Moreover, the identification of coarse-grained MTDs within deep-water calcareous sediments indicates a much steeper gradient of the northern Arabian margin, challenging previous studies.
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© 2017 The Authors. Basin Research © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers and International Association of Sedimentologists.
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