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Abstract

This study investigates the evidence for the presence of clastic sediments at the base of the distal Messinian evaporites in the Levant region (Eastern Mediterranean). Seismic geomorphological analysis of three-dimensional seismic data clearly reveals the occurrence of a well-imaged clastic body composed of two closely spaced channel-mouth lobe deposits, within the basal part of the Messinian evaporites. Comparable seismic facies observed at the same stratigraphic level point to the occurrence of additional clastic deposits and allows their correlation with the El Arish and Afiq canyon systems. The seismic characteristics of the clastic bodies and the analogy with other coeval deposits in the Mediterranean Basin suggest that they deposited in a submarine (shallow- or deep-water) setting. Knowledge of the occurrence and distribution of these clastic deposits has considerable impact on the interpretation of the depositional environment of this basinwide evaporitic system.

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