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Abstract

The Upper Barremian–Albian Levant Platform was studied in North Sinai and Israel (Galilee and Golan Heights) by bio- and lithostratigraphy, facies analyses, and sequence stratigraphy. Integrating shallow-marine benthic foraminifera (mainly orbitolines), ammonite, and stable isotope data resulted in a detailed stratigraphic chart. Transects across the shallow shelf in both regions are based on facies analysis and form the basis for depositional models. In both transects five platform stages (PS I–V) were identified, which differ significantly in their stratigraphic architecture, mainly controlled by local tectonics, climate and second-order sea-level changes. In North Sinai, a transition from a shallow-shelf that is structured by sub-basins through a homoclinal ramp into a flat toped platform is recognized, while the sections in North Israel show a transition from a homoclinal ramp into a fringing platform. Local normal faults influenced the depositional architecture of the Upper Barremian–Lower Aptian strata in North Sinai and were attributed to syn-rift extensional tectonics. Four second-order sequence boundaries were identified, bounding Mid-Cretaceous Levant depositional sequences. These well-dated second-order sequence boundaries are MCL-1 (Late Barremian), MCL-2 (earliest Late Aptian), MCL-3 (Lower Albian), and MCL-4 (Late Albian). The sea-level history of the Levant Platform reflects the Late Aptian–Albian global long-term transgression, while the second-order sea-level changes show good correlation with those described from the Arabian plate.

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