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Abstract

This study deals with the sedimentary evolution, tectonic configuration and global imprints of a Cenomanian–Turonian carbonate system located in northern Israel, on the central part of the Levant margin of the north Arabian Plate.

Detailed sampling of field sections, mesoscopic features, petrography and microfacies form the database for this study. Facies units are integrated into high- and low-order cycles that comprise a sequence stratigraphic model.

Two palaeo-highs, separated by a subsiding trough, all striking east–NE, govern the pattern of carbonate deposition in northern Israel. An additional subsiding region extended northward into Lebanon. Eustatic and palaeoenvironmental imprints are represented by earliest Cenomanian subaerial exposure; Early Cenomanian maximum flooding and oxygenation of hypoxic sea-floor; Middle Cenomanian high-stand progradation followed by forced regression and mass transport; Middle Cenomanian subaerial exposure; Late Cenomanian eutrophication during sea-level rise; Late Cenomanian subaerial exposure; latest Cenomanian–Turonian eutrophication and gradual development of the OAE-2 (oceanic anoxic event). A Late Cenomanian eustatic rise was locally masked by uplift and subaerial exposure.

We conclude that the tectono-sedimentary regime of northern Israel represents an east–NE branch-off of the depositional strike from the north–south striking Levant margin, and that the carbonate system of this region was strongly influenced by eustasy and palaeoceanographic trends of the Tethys.

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