ABSTRACT

Detailed lithologic, microfaunal, and biometric investigations, using relative abundances, diversity indexes, and duration charts of ostracods and foraminifera, allowed the recognition of sea level changes during the Cretaceous of Israel. Three major transgressive-regressive sedimentation cycles occur on the northwest margins of the Arabian craton. These cycles are the Neocomian-Aptian, which is mostly terrigenous sediments; the Albian-Turonian, which is basin marls and platform carbonates; and the Senonian, which is uniform marly chalks. The cycles are separated by two major regional unconformities, the Aptian-Albian and Turonian-Coniacian boundaries. The sedimentary cycles are related to regional tectonic and volcanic events and eustatic changes. The paleodepth curve illustrates the gradual sea level rise, reaching its maximum during the Late Cretaceous, with conspicuous advances during the late Aptian, late Albian-Cenomanian, early Turonian, early Santonian, and early Campanian. Major lowstands occur at the Aptian-Albian, Cenomanian-Turonian, Turonian-Coniacian, and Campanian-Maastrichtian boundaries. This model for Israel agrees well with other regional and global sea level fluctuations.Four anoxic events (black shales) accompanying transgressions correspond to the Cretaceous oceanic record.We hypothesize the presence of mature oil shales in the present-day eastern Mediterranean basin close to allochthonous reef blocks detached from the Cretaceous platform.

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