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Book Chapter

A Sequence Stratigraphic Reference Section for the Tithonian of Lebanon

By
Christopher Toland
Christopher Toland
Oolithica Geoscience Ltd., 489 Union Street, Aberdeen AB11 6DB, Scotland, United Kingdom.
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

Central Lebanon provides some of the best exposed and most readily accessible Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian) sections in the Middle East, and is one of the few places where lateral equivalents of the prolific Arab Formation (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian) reservoirs of Peninsular Arabia can be studied at outcrop.

At the Bikfaya outcrop section (35 km ENE of Beirut), the uppermost Jurassic comprises at least two disconformity-bounded third-order depositional sequences. Sequence 1 (“Falaise de Bikfaya”) is 61 m+ thick and comprises a progradational succession (highstand systems tract) of foreshoal micropeloid packstones, shoal-crest stromatoporoid floatstones, back-shoal Permocalculus wackestones, and (?attached mainland-) shoreface facies culminating in tidal-flat deposits. This interval is of Early to Middle Tithonian age.

Sequence 2 (“Calcaire de Salima”) is ca. 63 m thick, and commences with an abrupt transgressive surface and an associated influx of calcareous dinocysts. The lower part of this sequence comprises strongly argillaceous micropeloidal packstones and occasional peloid-intraclast packstones, interpreted as an offshore transition zone facies association. The initial marine flooding event is of late Middle Tithonian (upper fallauxi-ponti Zone) age. A candidate maximum flooding surface (MFS) is recognized within the late Middle Tithonian ponti Zone, coincident with calcareous dinocyst species and abundance maximum. (A ponti Zone MFS has also been identified elsewhere in the Middle East.) The recessive middle part of Sequence 2 is largely unexposed, whereas the upper cliff-forming part comprises ca. 22 m of Upper Tithonian ooid-skeletal grainstones that coarsen and thicken up-section. These grainstones are characterized by pronounced planar cross-stratification with set heights of up to 3.6 m, and are interpreted as a wave-dominated shoal complex culminating in emergent foreshore facies. Sequence 2 is terminated by a prominent paleo-karst (Type 1 sequence boundary) corresponding to the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, and is overlain by basal Cretaceous wacke-ironstones that form the lower part of the Chouf Sandstone Formation.

The lower part of the Chouf Sandstone Formation lacks age-diagnostic fossils. The timing of initial Cretaceous onlap is thus only poorly constrained by the presence of Late Tithonian taxa in the underlying “Calcaire de Salima” and the presence of Barremian spores in the upper part of the Chouf Sandstone Formation.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Middle East Models of Jurassic/Cretaceous Carbonate Systems

Abdulrahman S. Alsharhan
Abdulrahman S. Alsharhan
Faculty of Science United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17551, Al Ain, U.A.E.
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;
Robert W. Scott
Robert W. Scott
Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR3 Box 103-3, Cleveland, OK 74020, U.S.A.
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
69
ISBN electronic:
9781565761919
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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