Was There a Massive Sediment Transport System from Northwestern Arabia to the Levant Basin During the Oligo-Miocene?

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Seismic reflection profiles that were shot along the Levant Basin and its eastern margin show considerable thickening of the Oligo-Miocene sequence shelf-to-basin transition compared with overlying and underlying stratigraphic units. Numerous erosional channels were depicted in that sequence, suggesting a massive flow system of sedimentary supply from the source in the east to the sink in the west. The dimensions of these channels vary, but together they form a dense submarine system of sediment transport. Reconstruction of the Oligo-Miocene land-to-sea drainage system, from northwestern Arabia to the Mediterranean Sea, was active before the tectonic evolution of the Levant Rift and its uplifted flanks. Consequently, analog experiments showed that the tectonic evolution of the rift under the tectonic regime of oblique extension would generate a simultaneous break-up of detached series of discrete structural basins, which would interconnect gradually. That gradual connection enabled the westwards sediment supply concurrently with the structural evolution of the Levant Rift, but during the late Miocene and the early Pliocene, the growth of the rift and its elevated flanks gradually truncated the westwards fluvial flow. Since the middle Pliocene, only small rivers were left behind to supply Levantine sediments to the Mediterranean, and at present, the Levant Basin derives most of its sediments from the Nile River.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Research on Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Geochemistry, Volcanology, Tectonics, and Petroleum Geology - Proceedings of the 2nd MedGU, 2022 Volume 2
EditorsAttila Çiner, Stefano Naitza, Ahmed E. Radwan, Zakaria Hamimi, Federico Lucci, Jasper Knight, Ciro Cucciniello, Santanu Banerjee, Hasnaa Chennaoui, Domenico M. Doronzo, Carla Candeias, Jesús Rodrigo-Comino, Roohollah Kalatehjari, Afroz Ahmad Shah, Matteo Gentilucci, Dionysia Panagoulia, Helder I. Chaminé, Maurizio Barbieri, Zeynal Abiddin Ergüler
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783031487576
StatePublished - 2024
Event2nd International conference on Mediterranean Geosciences Union, MedGU 2022 - Marrakech, Morocco
Duration: 27 Nov 202230 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722


Conference2nd International conference on Mediterranean Geosciences Union, MedGU 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024.


  • Land-to-sea sedimentary supply
  • Levant Basin
  • Oligo-Miocene
  • Submerged sedimentary channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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